By: Alex Phuong (A Toast) –
The Swedish pop group ABBA remains one of the most popular musical groups of all time. Their hits like “Dancing Queen” and “Mamma Mia” have entertained audiences for decades. They even inspired the A-Teens to perform new renditions of their songs as well as one of today’s most popular musicals. The film adaptation of Mamma Mia! was once the highest-grossing film in the UK until the release of Avatar in 2009. This film was evidence that Twenty-First century audiences actually enjoy musical films.
Since this is a major film musical, the best part is obviously the music. The film starts off with music almost immediately, and then audiences would sometimes sing-along and dance to the rhythm of ABBA’s greatest hits. An interesting feature of this musical is that it is known as a “jukebox musical” since it uses popular songs to assist with the story-telling. It must have taken a lot of creativity to create one of the most popular films of 2008.
The music might be spectacular, but the plot is absolutely cheesy. It seems bizarre that Meryl Streep was actually willing to play a mom who supposedly had “summer fun” with three men named Sam, Bill, and Harry. It is also strange that the daughter, Sophie, would be so excited about meeting her father even though she has no idea who he is (given the mom’s unusual behavior). Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried both gave great performances as the mother and daughter in this film, though, given the atypical plot.
One major complaint that audiences have expressed for this film is Pierce Brosnan’s singing. He probably just cannot keep up with Meryl Streep’s vocal talents even though they played romantic partners in this film. Maybe Brosnan should just stick with playing James Bond.
Mamma Mia might not be one of the greatest musical productions, but it is essentially a “feel-good” movie that allowed audiences to escape the summer heat back in 2008. People are also currently excited about the sequel that will be released in the summer of 2018. It has been almost a decade since the original film came out, but people really do have a love affair with the music of ABBA. Maybe viewers will be dancing in the aisles again upon the release of Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!, just like they did all of those years ago.
Mamma Mia! (2008) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: during every musical number
Take a Drink: whenever the characters are seen in swimsuits
Drink a Shot: anytime anyone sings the phrase, “Mamma Mia!”