Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Review: Mamma Mia!

Meryl Streep's Joyous March Through the ABBA Catalog

IMDB link

We went out to the movies last night as part of Martha's birthday celebration, to see the film version of the musical based on ABBA songs. On one hand, it's about as well marketed as anything can hope to be in a theater world dominated by The Dark Knight, since Mamma Mia is generally skewed towards female viewers, but it cannot escape the shadow. I think crowds are smaller than they would be otherwise.

And just like the stage play, the audience is part of the show. For some, ABBA is anything but pleasant. For me, I think it's a form of perfect music, perfect Euro-pop. The movie is full of ABBA classics, and with the possible exception of when Pierce Brosnan tries to sing, one can't help but sing along out loud. This is where it would have been nicer for us if the theater had been packed. Perhaps it was because it was a Monday night, perhaps because it was Daly City; I don't know. If I could make sure I was attending a sold-out show in the City, I would see it again in a minute. I see a future in ABBA parties at home when the DVD comes out!

Roger Ebert, who didn't care for the movie much aptly puts it this way:
The plot is a clothesline on which to hang the songs; the movie doesn't much sparkle when nobody is singing or dancing, but that's rarely.
Meryl Streep is quite an accomplished singer, and Pierce Brosnan, is, er, not.

Bottom line, if you like ABBA, go this weekend, on a Friday or Saturday night, when large crowds are most likely. That is unless Batman has taken over all the available screens!


Pop Argot said...

Happy birthday to Martha!

Anonymous said...

First of all Happy B-day to Martha.

Now when it comes to ABBA, dancing queens, and disco I say HELL2-DA-NO! C'mon now you got to know I'm culturally opposed to this type of soft, insipid, white-bre(a)d, shallow, escapist entertainment which in this case I use quite loosely.

Now Meryl Streep's her body of work makes her one of greatest actors of all time, so I'm usually inclined to at least consider checking out any film w/her in it. But this is one of her venues I give neither time or money to see.