Mamma Mia!, I am Not Allowed to Pick Movies Anymore

Which is what my sweet husband would say if he didn’t have better control of his inner voice than I do.

Normally, Rob is the one who makes the questionable picks, but this last Wednesday, my number finally came up in the library queue for Mamma Mia!, the Movie with Meryl Streep. Did you know that she can’t really sing?

And sadly, she was the main character, so it was her or no one, but I can’t cast aspersions on her vocal talent without noting that aside from the girl who plays her daughter, the Greek chorus and Christine Baranski, who plays one of Streep’s best friends, no one in the film can sing.

I loves me some musicals. I have no problem suspending my belief long enough for characters to burst into song or dance in the pursuit of coherent story-telling. Musicals though weave song, dance and acting together to create a world for characters to inhabit. Mamma Mia took pop songs and quilted a story around them in a way that resembles a spiderweb after a thunderstorm. There is but a semblance of the beauty.

“I saw this,” Mick commented when she saw the dvd on the kitchen counter Thursday evening. “It was disappointing.”

She had wanted to see the movie when it was in the theatres. We’d even talked about going. I had requested it from the library at the beginning of June in hopes of having it when Mom and Auntie came in July.

Rob sighed. He watches chicky flicks for me only. He considers it a husbandly duty. When he found out it was a musical on top of a chick flick, he visibly braced himself.

“I am exercising my right to veto if this sucks too much,” he informed me before we snuggled into bed to watch it on the laptop.

But despite the fact that it was horrid from the first number, neither one of us gave up on it. Mostly because the premise of the story is that Donna (Streep) slept with three men the summer she got pregnant with her daughter Sophie who has invited all three men to her upcoming wedding in hopes of discovering who her father is.

SPOILER: She never finds out and neither do we.

Hours worth of butchered 70’s pop and for what? No daddy reveal. A tone deaf cast. Pierce Brosnan singing – which I assure you is every bit as awful as the earworm it gave me – and Colin Firth (one of the potential daddies) discovers his true sexuality and hooks up with a pretty Greek boy at the end. Not that there is anything wrong with a gay dad, but why couldn’t it have been the unattractive Swedish guy instead of Mr. Darcy? It could have been a stereotype breaker.

Speaking of stereotypes, I will give the movie props for not airbrushing or otherwise emaciating Streep and her friends. They looked like middle aged women and it was wonderfully refreshing.

The finale has everyone dressed for a special appearance on the Midnight Special in Kiss like platform shoes and stretchy polyester that glittered appropriately under the disco lighting. Enough said.

Mamma Mia is one of the worst movies ever. It is also the highest grossing film to date in the UK and we are moving there, but I will reserve judgment. It could have been a bad movie summer there that year and the earworminess of ABBA cannot be denied.

If you haven’t seen it, don’t bother. Life is too precious to waste like that.

8 responses to “Mamma Mia!, I am Not Allowed to Pick Movies Anymore

  1. I couldn’t agree more. Honestly, I thought Pierce Brosnan was only there to make Meryl Streep sound good.

    At least in Evita we found out that Antonio Banderas really could sing. Even if, admittedly, the heroine did die of cancer.

  2. My daughter and I took in this movie at 9:30 on a Sunday morning, and we enjoyed every minute of it. We smuggled bagels and cups of coffee into the theater, and we smiled the entire time. It was the whole experience that was so much fun, I think.

    • The job is not a sure thing still (Rob has written in more detail on his blog lately) but the location is currently Manchester. The longest stay would be in Saudi – three years at least. We will know something one way or the other by the beginning of the year-ish and then details will likely follow quickly.

  3. Ah, but hearing Pierce Brosnan sing is worth the price of admission! Hilarious! It still makes me laugh. But I agree, its about the worst movie ever made. I did see the Broadway Musical version though, and that was WAY better…

  4. oh my…how long was all this singing? I am sure I could never handle it. My hubby watches all kinds of movies so I end up being like Rob and tolerating many of them as my wifely duty.

  5. and despite the pain, there should be props for Ms. Streep (and the producers) for putting her voice out there, rather than dubbing or auto-tuning it (perhaps they did?). sounds painful. major “husband points” to rob for toughing it out… that is the definition of ‘macho’.

  6. The Boyo and I saw it, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course, we saw it at a free outdoor movie, where everybody was campy and singing to the music. It was a “Rocky Horror Picture Show” type experience. I can see this movie coming back to the outdoor theater next year, and becoming a perpetual winner in that venue. Just like they show Princess Bride every single year. Last year they tried a showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight, but I think it rained, so they didn’t bring it back this year.

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