465 of 501 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some things that are not good for you, "feel" good so go for it!
From what I know of the history of this play/movie the two ladies that worked so hard to get ABBA and others to put this together in GB are now two of the wealthiest women in England - and from what I have seen it drives the critics nuts, ("lousy, bad camera work, Brosnen can not carry a tune etc., etc.,) the bottom line folks, this movie fits like that old comfortable...
Published on October 31, 2008 by Jim
54 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Winner Takes . . .Overall
Imagine that you are a huge marquee movie star. Perhaps you've got two Oscars to your name and untold nominations for gritty dark roles where you've had to assume heavy European accents. Perhaps you have embodied to fantastic accolades one of the staple characters of popular culture, be it Mr. Bond or Mr. Darcy. You are a Serious Actor, not known for (or possessing)...
Published on December 2, 2008 by Hikari
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465 of 501 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some things that are not good for you, "feel" good so go for it!,
From what I know of the history of this play/movie the two ladies that worked so hard to get ABBA and others to put this together in GB are now two of the wealthiest women in England - and from what I have seen it drives the critics nuts, ("lousy, bad camera work, Brosnen can not carry a tune etc., etc.,) the bottom line folks, this movie fits like that old comfortable shirt your wife (the critic) wants you to throw away because it looks "awful". Well, the heck with em, I like my shirt, and I like meatloaf and mashed potatos, and I like Mama Mia, maybe it is mind candy, maybe it does not reach the high brow standard, but it "feels good" so the pundants can take their "expert" advise and put it where "the sun don't shine", this movie makes me smile and who knew Meryl Streep could sing like that - the "Winner Takes it All" maybe very poorly filmed according to the so called experts because the one I saw said "get me off the Merry-go-Round" but it sure sent chills down my back - let the experts rave - I know what I like, and this film made me laugh - in times like these I will take that any old time over what the high brows think I should see!
PS - as for Mr. Brosnan's singing and why he did the film - straight from the horses mouth -
Q. What drew you to this movie? A. My agent called and said, "Meryl Streep, Mamma Mia!," and I said, "I'm in!" I didn't even know who I was playing. I kept thinking, I want to work with this wonderful actress.
Q. How did you fare with all the singing you had to do for the role?
A. I've never done anything as orchestrated or musically complex in my life. At first, I just made noises. Then I went to London and trained in the studio with Benny [Andersson] and Bjõrn [Ulvaeus] from ABBA. My family let me know that they were very worried for Dad when they first heard Dad sing. But sing I did.
152 of 166 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!,
I LOVED this movie. I saw it six times in the theater and laughed and bobbed my head as much the sixth time as the first. The music great!! Ok, so Pierce Brosnan isn't the best singer in the world. You know what? I've paid a whole lot more money to see people in concert that were suppose to be great singers and were so much worse than Pierce. Besides if you don't want to listen to him just watch him. He's showing some age(but then aren't we all) he's still quite attractive. I think Merryl Streep did an incredible job. Who knew she could sing like that?! And Donna's two friends are a hoot. And I think the girl that plays Sophie is adorable.
In today's times it's great to be able to sit down with a movie and not have to think about it. Just be entertained by it. It's a great "bad day" movie. Go home put your feet up and just veg out. Sure to improve your bad mood greatly!!
126 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel good fun...Critics find another Job!,
I sometimes wonder what movie the critics see because it rarely if ever matched the movie I see. I paid to see this movie five times and took my daughter four of those times, we LOVE it. I makes you feel good, the music gives you energy, to me the movie made me feel young and hopeful. The loctaion it was shot in was breathtaking, the chemisty on screen was wonderful! When it first came out it was not a trailer that grabbed me and I really had no interest in seeing it, but a friend of mine invited me and my daughter to go with her one night, and I am so glad we did. I shudder to think I almost missed one of the best big screen experiences I've ever had.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FUN Movie,
I actually saw this movie 3 times at the theater and enjoyed it just as much the 3rd time as the 1st. You smile the whole way thru. You just know that the cast had a terrific time making the movie. Looking around the theater I could see the majority of the people's heads bobbing with the music and as I sat there at the end and people were leaving they were actually singing along with the music at the credits. This is just a flat out FUN movie that left you feeling GREAT.
112 of 130 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, but...,
I can't fault the acting in this movie one bit. Brosnan was damned if he sang the part & damned if he didn't, so having the courage to do so with a less than trained voice shows character, in my opinion. I will agree with the critics that the cinematography was, in places (The Winner Takes it All & the courtyard scene with Streep & Brosnan) just awful, but I love the film all the same. A movie is more than the sum of it's parts & this movie makes me smile. At the end of the day, entertainment is still supposed to entertain, yes?
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a really fun movie!,
This movie is just plain fun. It's obvious the entire cast is having a blast, and their enthusiasm is infectious. Sure there are some points of bad camera work and Brosnan's voice isn't classically trained, but who cares? He sings well enough, and his singing really grows on you through the movie.
It's a fun movie with catchy songs, a fun story, and a happy ending. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I can't wait to own the DVD the second it comes out.
Not every movie has to be high art. Sometimes it's enough for it to be entertaining, and this movie is wonderful.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great time!,
When I saw the trailor, I had no interest in seeing the movie. My mom said I have to see it, so we went together and boy am I glad I did! I laughed, I cried (the song when the mother and daughter are preparing her for the wedding ceremony). We saw it three times in the theater, and have pre-ordered the set (hopefully lots of bonus goodies). Who knew the "Big Love" daughter had such a voice?! If you love Grease and other musicals, this is a sure thing.
54 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Winner Takes . . .Overall,
Imagine that you are a huge marquee movie star. Perhaps you've got two Oscars to your name and untold nominations for gritty dark roles where you've had to assume heavy European accents. Perhaps you have embodied to fantastic accolades one of the staple characters of popular culture, be it Mr. Bond or Mr. Darcy. You are a Serious Actor, not known for (or possessing) any particular musical theatre ability. What would compel you to accept a role in an ABBA musical where you had to both sing and dance AND perhaps look generally ridiculous? Maybe because you want to have some FUN at work, even if it's at your own expense and you have to spend half the movie in overalls and ratty sneakers? Having a working holiday on a fabulous Greek island surely must render all other objections moot. Meryl Streep is amazing; a force of nature who looks great for her age or frankly, any age. She displays a real flair for physical comedy and a more-than-passable voice belting out some of ABBA's greatest hits. The highlight for me was her empassioned rendering of "The Winner Takes It All" on a rocky Greek hillside. She is the strongest voice in this cast of non-singers, and her zest for life is palpable. The project has something of an air of an under-rehearsed production by a third-rate college drama department, but it's all in zany good fun. If you're not a fan of ABBA songs, don't bother with this; go watch an episode of "Inside the Actors Studio" instead.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't feel embarrassed - this movie is a delight!,
As a male, I probably shouldnt say this in public, but I'm a big fan of ABBA's music and you shouldn't feel embarrassed about seeing this film. It is such feel good fun, you will love it.
In this brilliant, joyful film adaption of the hit stage show, 20-year-old Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried) lives with her mother Donna (Meryl Streep) on the small Greek island of Kalokairi where Donna runs a hotel called Villa Donna.
Sophie is about to be married and discovers that any one of 3 men could be her father. But is it Sam (Pierce Brosnan), Harry (Colin Firth) or Bill (Stellan Skarsgard)?
Sophie invites all 3 men to her wedding without telling Donna, who was the singer in a group called Donna and the Dynamos.
Glorious music and songs, imaginatively staged numbers and a fine sense of fun are present in this film. I loved it!
While Pierce Brosnan sounds awful, and sings like a lawnmower - and Colin Firth sounds rather nasal when singing "Last Summer" on guitar - in a funny way, the casting of actors who sing like us plebs works and adds to the fun and charm of the film. The wedding setting also works because you can imagine everyone at a wedding getting up and dancing or singing.
Meryl Streep has an excellent singing voice which will astonish sceptics, and I also thought the actress playing the daughter sang well!
The passionate renditions of The Winner Takes It All and Thank You For The Music are my highlights, and yet some uptempo songs are great too (Waterloo, Lay All Your Love On Me etc). I also think there are 1 or 2 touching moments in the film.
Yes the screenplay is very cheesy, and it may be camp as Christmas, but you will surely leave the theatre smiling.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Songs In the Key of Life,
This review is from: Mamma Mia! The Movie (Full Screen) (DVD)
"Mamma Mia,"a new romantic musical comedy of a film, arrives, bringing joy to many. It is based on the stage play of the same name that was a major international hit, and, ultimately, on the internationally popular music, largely disco-style, of the 1970's Swedish group ABBA. The film, which I'd have to guess mainly appeals to women, older women at that, is a product of women to some degree: written by Catherine Johnson, directed by Phyllida Lloyd. And, as you might expect, it generally has not been popular with mainstream critics, particularly the male ones.
The film is lovely to look at: it's set, as was the stage play, on one of those picturesque Greek islands; and the breathtaking exteriors were filmed on one of them. Interiors, however, and the major setting, Villa Donna, the small resort owned by the major character, Donna Sheridan (Meryl Streep), supposedly on that Greek island, were filmed at Pinewood Studios, England. Some critics have complained about the cinematography, but really, who can carp when it's showing such lovely views? I also found it slightly too long; there was a hard-to-believe moment when I was a little tired of big, pull out all the stops, production numbers.
The plot's simple enough, even silly, and downright illogical and unscientific. Donna, who was a tribute performer back in her day - and ABBA's --largely doing their material, it appears, would be the first to tell you, as she labors in her only moderately successful little resort, that she's a reformed slut. Her daughter, Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried), has, accordingly, never known her father. And Sophie's getting married now to Sky (Dominic Cooper); she wants her father to give her away. So she finds Mom's old diary, identifies the three most likely candidates, and sends them invites: apparently Donna was prescient enough to identify them in her diary not only by their full names, but by what would be their addresses twenty years later. (Pity she didn't identify them by their DNA at the same time; her daughter would have been spared so much uncertainty.) The three men show up: Sam Carmichael (Pierce Brosnan, former James Bond); Harry Bright (the dishy Colin Firth), and Bill Anderson (Stellan Skarsgard, generally considered to be a serious actor, and a good one.) Just to add to the fun, Donna's former singing partners show up too: Tanya (Christine Baranski, an American musical comedy and television performer) and Rosie (Julie Walters, a respected serious British actress). Two of daughter Sophie's friends show up too, the movie's crazy for triads.
Well, these performers have to sing, of course, those ABBA songs. It was obviously no problem for Streep; she appears to be having a great time of it. But then, she's that phenomenon that famed Broadway guru Hal Prince once highly praised, an actress that can sing: and I've seen her sing previously in Postcards from the Edge, and A Prairie Home Companion, among other films. Critics have complained that her "Winner Takes It All" is over baked; if they'd seen the stage show, as I have, they'd know that song functions as what Broadway calls "the 11 o'clock number." That is, the song, near the end of the show that producers rely on to send the audience out humming, and recommending the entertainment to their friends. It's supposed to be powerfully presented, guys. Major complaints about Brosnan's voice, too: we can all agree he'll never be invited to the Metropolitan Opera, but, still, his voice is perfectly adequate to the task. However, the critics have praised Walters' closing number, delivered as the mythical ancient "Fountain of Aphrodite," which Donna's inn is supposedly built over, explodes during a minor earthquake. Walters has a get up on the table, knock `em dead, shake your money maker classic here; and she deserves every syllable of praise she gets.
Basically, despite the attractive and talented young leads, the show functions as an evocative middle-aged romance, of which the media give us too few. This one is really meant for people who were around at the time, dancing to ABBA; something for the girls, in particular: that would be the older girls now. I've seen a TV documentary on ABBA, and all four of the quartet agreed: even while they were recording "Dancing Queen," they knew it would be a monster hit. And it was, and it is still. My favorite scene: as the entire island apparently breaks into that song, a Greek farm woman, no longer young, carrying a heavy load of kindling on her head, thinks about it, decides there's time enough to carry kindling, sets it down and joins the dance. Fellas: throughout life, most women are carrying heavy loads of kindling: and we enjoy the chance to set them down and dance. As various people have said, life is short and death is long: and you'd better dance while you can, little man. Little woman, too. In fact, I've said it before and I'll say it again, Gloria Gaynor's monster, international disco hit, "I Will Survive," functions as an anthem to current day women, well beyond the English-speaking world. And any English-speaking woman who claims not to know it is a liar.
To be sure, rock critics of the day always hated disco, and you still see the odd bumper sticker, "Disco Sucks." Why ever? Well, having the biggest "cojones" was important to those largely male critics, and disco was loved, heavens, by gays. And women, and quite ordinary people, who liked to dance. And the songs said nothing whatever about the state of the world, or Euclidean geometry. Seems to me many of today's movie critics hearken back to these guys. However, very recently, I saw a newspaper article that said medical men had found that people delivering CPR (Cardio pulmonary resuscitation) to people with failing hearts were most successful doing it to the Bee Gees' seminal disco tune "Staying Alive." It helped the rescuers even to be thinking the tune, or singing it to themselves, because, you see, the song has slightly more than 100 beats a minute, and so has the heart. The medical men didn't know the reason, but I do. Because I once saw a documentary about the Australian group, the Bee Gees, generally considered the fathers of disco, who said that they took that beat from the Australian aborigines. That song, folks, is in the key of life.
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Mamma Mia! The Movie (Widescreen) by Phyllida Lloyd (DVD - 2008)