Starring: Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgard, Amanda Seyfried, Julie Walters

Director: Phyllida Lloyd

Screenplay: Catherine Johnson, Songs by Abba

Cinematography: Haris Zambarloukos

Running Time: 108 Minutes

In reviewing a film such as Mamma Mia it is like trying to preach to the converted, most cinema goers will have decided before seeing the film if they love it or hate it, When it has a plot based around the songs of one of the best and most popular pop music groups ever, and is converted from a sell out musical, that’s been around for almost 10 years, to go ahead and make it really was a no-brainer. In fact musical’s seem to be setting a trend for showing up like an unexpected guest to the summer movie blockbuster parade and stealing much bigger films thunder, and more importantly money! It happened last year with the very enjoyably tacky Hairspray and seems to be set to happen again this year with Mamma Mia!, my money is on Wicked as next years theatre to cinema movie conversion!

There is so much poor about this film it’s a major accomplishment that i came out of the cinema smiling from ear to ear and feeling ridiculously uplifted, so much so that all the weaknesses can be forgiven. But what really IS good about it, well for a start the performances are all spot on, with the only weak link being Dominic Cooper’s turn as Sky. Meryl Streep is excellent as ever and proves she sing as well as she can act, surely making her a shoe in for Best Actress In A Musical or Comedy at next years Golden Globes. Christine Baranski and Julie Walters shine, with Walters in particular bringing alot of comedy, albeit slapstick. The three male leads also excel, and with the limited scenes Skarsgard and Firth have they do well to brim with charm, it is Pierce Brosnan and especially Amanda Seyfried that should gain most of the plaudits. They bring the much needed humanity to the film amongst all the music and dancing. Brosnan shows why he should be a much bigger star than he is, serving as the most un-pretentious leading man in a long time and Seyfried should, by rights, be the ‘next big thing’ she carries her songs best out of anyone and shines through every aspect of the film.

The main problem the film has, as did the musical, is that the plot of the film serves only to fit the numerous Abba hits in, the thing is to critisize this is to critisize the whole point of the film, undoubtedly there will be haters and i can see why it wont be everyone’s cup of tea. The direction is poor and stagey, something all directors have struggled with, bar Baz Luhrmann, in converting from stage to screen and the editing at times is dire. But this is not about award worthy film making, its about having fun and I can’t think of a better way to spend an evening, if you are stuck here in the UK and not sunning yourself on holiday. In fact I almost felt that I had been transported to the setting for the film, Greece, for a couple of hours!

VERDICT

Certainly not for everyone, but you will already know what to expect if you want too see it. Truly uplifting film-fare, making a star out of Seyfried and demonstrating that despite a lack of singing a abilities Brosnan is the most charming leading man around. Like gatecrashing an A-List stars drunken karaoke, The most fun you can have this summer in a cinema!

p.s. Make sure you stay for the end credits for the sight of the leads in spandex dancing, and singing, along to Waterloo!!!

Advertisements