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Low expectations for Mamma Mia!

July 17th, 2008 by Maxim · 2 Comments · 4,651 Views


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Mamma Mia! (2008)

The screen adaptation of Mamma Mia! musical is opening in movie theatres this weekend. The studio is trying to capitalize on the international success of the Broadway show. Perhaps it’s targeting those people who didn’t want to pay full ticket price or weren’t able to see the Broadway show and now may see it for the price of the movie ticket. Directed by Phyllida Lloyd, produced by Judy Craymer, Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard.

I have seen the show. I thought it was terrible. But many people enjoyed the show and part of the enjoyment, I guess, is to see other people in the audience to begin to sing along with actors.

Here’s why I think this movie is going to flop.

1. The Dark Knight is opening this weekend.

2. The original musical was retarded. There’s absolutely no story. Basically, a girl who was raised on a Greek island is about to get married, and she invites 3 men, her potential fathers, to her wedding. Well, this is a plot worthy of a Mexican “who’s the father” soap opera set to ABBA tunes. The actors burst into song for no apparent reason and clearly the creators of the musical based on ABBA songs were just trying to cram a song into the stupid plot. “OK, the girl is going up the stairs. Which ABBA song can she sing?” I love ABBA songs. But why did the creators have to bastardise them to create this abomination? If you like to sing along to ABBA, why not just go to karaoke club or listen to them in your car or iPod? Mamma Mia, is this musical bad. Worst I have ever seen. Now they think that movie stars like Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth can save this turd. What a waste of talent…

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Maxim // Jul 25, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    I saw the movie this weekend. The movie was even worse then the musical. I love ABBA songs and have a quite big collection of their songs on my iPod and on CDs. But the story in this movie is a concoction designed as a pretext to lead from one song to the next. The plot of the musical and the movie makes as much sense as soap operas on TV. As far as movie goes, several pointers:
    1. Zero chemistry between actors, even between Meryl Streep and her men.
    2. Meryl Streep. Boy, did she rip. [pardon the rhyme]. She clearly enjoyed the challenge.
    3. Pierce Brosnan sang like he was being eaten alive by a crocodile or perhaps was trying to push an eighteen-wheeler up the hill. Horrible singing.
    To summarize, this movie is crap. Meryl Streep could not save it. Sorry, Jewels.
    ABBA has produced a most amazing body of work, with very intelligent lyrics and beautiful music charged with energy and emotions. Been listening to them for years, and as I get older I only appreciate their genius more. But of all musicals I have seen, Mamma Mia (saw it in Pantages Theatre in LA) was the worst experience. I know a lot of people loved it, but I wonder if majority of them loved them for ABBA experience, not for the story.

  • 2 Jewels // Jul 25, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Reply  |  Quote


    I decided to make it my mission when a very astute editor friend of mine said that Mama Mia! didn’t have great reviews – to set things straight! This musical has been beloved by millions and watched the world over for a decade. It’s a very feminist story – a universal theme of what REALLY MATTERS IN THIS LIFE! I remember when I saw it in 99 in London I was weary because of ABBA. I ended up loving ABBA and loving the whole audience enthralled involvement with it – who could not – people cheered and cried. It really moved me. When I saw it in Westwood, LA with an audience of non-dancer yet smart critical minds – I was happy to note that all who came out were as moved in the movie version as I was – 9 years later – and those who did see the musical said that the movie was even better. So my point is – I think the reviewers of this should tread carefully on a subject that has such a huge cult worldwide audience. I think it stinks when reviewers steer people away from what is so obviously a good thing that so many millions have loved and loved! I know many theatre goers who cite MM as one of their all-time favs! The reason has to do with the ENERGY of the STORY — it is about LAUGHING at LIFE and FUN! This movie version was magical, and I am an intelligent smart woman. When Streep sang ‘The Winner Takes It All’ – I cried JUST like I did in the musical – and JUST like the educated women sitting next to me did! I sometimes wonder if ‘critics’ sit in movie in a critical, removed frame of mind? And I also think it’s totally unfair of critics to review a movie that you do not understand the success of the musical – WHY it speaks to so many…. Very disappointing. I would like to see reviewers for once hold back – if it’s not your genre’ – then leave it alone! It ruins it for those who are interested in ‘understanding’ the perspective of the piece of work… It’s a blast, and yet hits a truly deep human cord! My 7 year old is over the moon with it the way she is (and I was) with movies like Grease! Thanks for listening!

  • 3 Maxim // Jul 25, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Reply  |  Quote


    I saw the movie this weekend. The movie was even worse then the musical. I love ABBA songs and have a quite big collection of their songs on my iPod and on CDs. But the story in this movie is a concoction designed as a pretext to lead from one song to the next. The plot of the musical and the movie makes as much sense as soap operas on TV. As far as movie goes, several pointers:
    1. Zero chemistry between actors, even between Meryl Streep and her men.
    2. Meryl Streep. Boy, did she rip. [pardon the rhyme]. She clearly enjoyed the challenge.
    3. Pierce Brosnan sang like he was being eaten alive by a crocodile or perhaps was trying to push an eighteen-wheeler up the hill. Horrible singing.
    To summarize, this movie is crap. Meryl Streep could not save it. Sorry, Jewels.
    ABBA has produced a most amazing body of work, with very intelligent lyrics and beautiful music charged with energy and emotions. Been listening to them for years, and as I get older I only appreciate their genius more. But of all musicals I have seen, Mamma Mia (saw it in Pantages Theatre in LA) was the worst experience. I know a lot of people loved it, but I wonder if majority of them loved them for ABBA experience, not for the story.

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