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Sunday, July 20, 2008

OMG Mamma Mia!

Last night the theaters for "Dark Knight" were packed, so we settled for "Mamma Mia!" which was also on our list, based upon its successful Broadway run and some bloggers' recommendations.

Meryl Streep's acting was great as usual. The Abba music was good and typically ear-wormable. Other than that, this was just another stupid chick flick. I put this in the same category as "Thelma & Louise" and "Bonneville." I'm not sure why people have been known to dance in the aisles at the end of the Broadway show, unless they were just happy it was over.

One reviewer had said the Meryl Streep was 20 years too old for the part, and I really didn't understand that comment since Streep and I are approximately the same age, and I have a daughter in her early twenties, too. After viewing the production, I see where he was coming from.

There was definitely a time/age problem. If the time period was supposed to be the present, then Donna would have been 38 when her child was born. That part is realistic, but it doesn't accurately reflect the back story of Donna having a child at a very young age and Donna's mother kicking her out of the house. It also doesn't reflect the flashbacks of the 1970's hippy looks of the three lovers.

If the time period was supposed to be twenty years after the 1970's, then Donna, her friends, and three lovers are ALL 20 years too old for their parts, since all of them are in their 50's.

Roger Ebert often says that a good movie can overcome illogic. If the audience can suspend belief, then one can enjoy a film and overlook these improbabilities. I just couldn't do that with this movie.

Besides the whole thing was stupid. Perhaps my friends and I are from a different world, but I had a difficult time identifying with these three women.

Personally, I liked Streep's character better in "Bridges of Madison County " and Julie Walters' character in "Educating Rita." Christine Baranski seems to play the same character from "Cybil" in everything she does. Pierce Brosnan was miscast. Colin Firth is always lovable. Stellen Skarsgard, an obvious tribute to the Swedish roots of Abba, seemed misplaced and shallow compared to his other greater roles in "Breaking the Waves" and "Hunt for Red October."

Overall, I'd say skip the theater on this one and watch it on DVD if you're into chick flicks.


Anonymous said...

True to form: broadway musicals (and plays) are NEVER brought to the screen correctly. The broadway show worked because people were the right age, no big names are needed to draw in the paying crowd, etc. etc.

Think 'Phantom Of The Opera'. It was superb on the broadway stage when it opened over 10 years ago, as it still is today. But, the movie version was a dud.

Going Like Sixty said...

OMG! You are one of those people! Should have expected as much from an accountant. :)
It all has to make sense?
No wonder you like documentaries.
I have to admit the I did find myself watching Mamma Mia and thinking back to the stage play and how it was represented onstage.
The guy on CBS Sunday Morning - as with all the others - just RIPPED Mamma Mia and everybody in it!
Oh well, I had fun!
I guess you will be skipping Dark Knight because of the whole Batman concept?

Catch Her in the Wry said...

cinzea: I never saw Mamma Mia in live performance, but I still don't think I would have enjoyed it. I'm just not into "chick" plots. There have been some great movie versions of Broadway musicals including South Pacific, West Side Story, Sound of Music, and others. And some great broadway productions of movies, including The Lion King.

sixty: Dark Knight was my number one choice to see last night but lines were too long. In my youth I was a big comic book fan and I love super-hero fantasy and the good vs. evil genre. I especially liked the last, darker version of Batman. I'm certain I'll enjoy this one, too.

Crockhead said...

Thanks for your review. I had been thinking of seeing it, but you just saved me a couple of wasted Sunday afternoon hours (which I have now wasted other ways.) As for "Across the Universe," it was okay, but the best musical I've seen in recent years (which isn't saying much because I generally don't like musicals) is "Romance and Cigarettes." "Hairspray" was close behind.

Catch Her in the Wry said...

crockhead: I didn't mean that "Across the Universe" is the best musical movie in recent years, but for a movie musical that uses contemporary pop, instead of original songs, it was much better than "Mamma Mia!". I would like to see "Jersey Boys" as a movie musical.

Anonymous said...

Funny you saw Mamma Mia as second choice after Dark Knight sold out. It happened exactly opposite for us. We went to see Mamma Mia--for Meryl Streep and Abba, but wound up seeing Dark Knight because the other was sold out. As for Knight, Heath Ledger owns that film. Every scene with him was spectacular, but otherwise it was a tad too long. They shoulda stopped after the pretty girl got killed! It's still worth seeing. As for chick flicks, I think I'm simpatico with you on that! It has to be very very well acted or something in order to get me in the theater to see one!