Mamma Mia !
The musical is fluffy, predictable and borderline chick-flick. The cynical view would be to dismiss it a silly exercise in stringing together hits of ABBA around the barest of plots.
However, once you get past the initial 20-30 minutes dominated by cheesy teeny-bopper exuberance and awkward chemistry among the three leading men, the movie lifts itself and there is much fun to be had. Especially with the appearance of Meryl Streep and her two friends, it is tough not to catch the infectious energy of foot-tapping, shoulder swinging numbers like Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen, Voulez-Vous etc.
A word about Meryl Streep: whether dancing around in tight-fitting spandex or soulfully crooning ‘The winner takes it all….‘ on the backdrop of the Aegean, her performance alone (not surprisingly) is worth the price of admission. Julie Walters and Christine Baranski as her friends are delightfully funny. P ierce Brosnan can’t sing to save his life, but made it up by a put-on goofiness that indicated he was aware of the lack of singing talent. The most irritating bits were the parts played by the teenagers, but that could just be ageism catching up with me.
So overall, in spite of the occasional tackiness, watching Mamma Mia is not an altogether unpleasant way to spend a Friday evening; especially if you are a bit liquored up and ready for a relaxing time (and if you happen to be a closet ABBA fan).
However, the best movie to be strung around ABBA songs still remains Muriel’s Wedding.