Saturday, 12 July 2008
Yesterday I went to see Mamma Mia with my friends Ellen and Jacinta. I'm partly writing this blog entry to further infuriate John Lacey (who detests ABBA), but also because I have stories and a bit of a review-ishy thing. So, on to the stories!
As you might expect from a musical, there is lots of singing. They're singing ABBA like it's their job (and by all accounts, it is their job) and they sing it well. Only thing is, some things that are accepted as part of a stage production come off as incredibly corny on the screen.
For example, when the chorus come dong pirouettes through a window in the middle of a serious conversation so they can sing a song, or like in one scene where fifteen men in snorkels and flippers suddenly burst from the ocean when the bride-and-groom-to-be are confessing their love for each other. The snorkel-men dance passionately and then jump back into the ocean. I honestly can't remember what became of those snorkel-men.
I didn't mind this. I thought this was very funny. But there's no way you could take this movie seriously... or could you?
Enter the lady sitting two seats down from me; tissues out and weeping profusely. In between sniffles and nose-blows she would quietly sing the songs in a haggard voice with all the soul she could muster.
"Dancing Queen! *snif!* Young and sweet! *SNIF!* Seventeen!"
She would usually cry hardest in the parts my friends and I were laughing in. This movie had her hook, line and sinker.
Then, at the end of the movie, the lights went up and the three of us looked around at the other faces in the cinema. We were the only ones under 40. Not even that there were more older people than there were younger people - we were the only ones and it was school holidays!
Still, I thought it was pretty good, although not as good as, say, Hairspray (although some would disagree). I think Hairspray does the 'musical movie' thing a bit better - not as corny. Then again, it is ABBA we're talking about. It might be impossible to do a non-corny version of Mamma Mia. Best to just enjoy it for what it is then; a bit of fun.