Mamma Mia! (2008)

Rated: PG-13 for some sex-related comments.
Length: 108 minutes
Grade: D-CDD-=D-
Budget: $52 million
Box Office: $572 million (144 U.S., 428 Intl., DVD)

Written by: Catherine Johnson (First notable script)
Directed by: Phyllida Lloyd (First notable movie)
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Stellan Skarsgaard, Pierce Brosnan, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Christine Baranski, and Julie Walters.

Based on her hippie mother’s diary and unbeknownst to her, a woman on the eve of her wedding has secretly invited all three of the men who might be her father to the island resort they manage together. When mom’s two best friends arrive, romance and Abba songs erupt.

Apparently I’m the only person in the known universe who was bored to tears by this movie. The plot was ridiculous. The singing was generally awful. And the overall effect left me wishing for the superior production value normally associated with Christian films or even America’s Funniest Home Videos. I worked on high school plays that were more professional than this. I love a good musical, and I even knew a lot of the songs, but this was a joke. My impression here was that this would be a big hit in the trailer park, if only for the fact that the entire movie can best be summarized with the word, “tasteless.” That being said, my jaw actually did hit the floor when I saw the box office numbers. Okay. I don’t get it. Plus, unless I’ve suddenly gone tone deaf in the last month, Pierce Brosnan just cannot sing, and listening to him try was easily the most painful part of this movie.
Overall Grade: D-
Although I was sorely tempted to give it an F. I think it was the campy frivolity of it all combined with a fairly interesting premise for a musical based on the music of one megaband that kept it out of the cellar in the end. But note, I actually did give it FCDF=F on my first reaction, which I only upgraded to D-CDD-=D- for reasons that I’m not sure now quite justify the decision. But keep in mind, over half a billion dollars in revenue says that I have no idea what I’m talking about, and I’m sure devoted fans will post their dismayed disagreement with my assessment.

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