Thank Goodness, the 70s are over…

I saw Mamma Mia! and, boy, am I glad that nobody dresses in silver (or violet or blue or …) one piece body suit thingies anymore.

What can I say, I don’t think I need to see it ever again. There were some funny scenes (when they sing Dancing Queen or Does Your Mother Know), I really loved the interpretation of Lay All Your Love On Me, but if I ever want to see them again, there’s youtube.

So, what was wrong?

First, most of the main actors couldn’t sing. Except for Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper, who were obviously cast for their singing abilities and not their popularity, it was awful. The best thing I can say is that I don’t really remember Stellan Skarsgard‘s singing and that Julie Walters‘ singing didn’t suck completely. Pierce Brosnan probably would have a nice rock voice, but not a good voice for singing ABBA songs, which are too high for him.

Apart from the singing, there was the acting, which had theatre written all over it, in huge, blinking, red neon letters. Theatre acting is not bad in itself, but it is different from movie acting for a reason. When you got a camera that catches every wrinkel in your face, there is no need for big gestures, they just seem weird. Which is exactly what happened here. And they managed to make Meryl Streep seem like she can’t act. Which is some kind of achievement, I guess.
Also, the way the story was structured is very theatre-like. I guess that’s due to Phyllida Lloyd, who also directed the Broadway version.
They could have done a little more adapting. Just a bit.


Colin Firth, I love him. No doubt about that. But he was completely miscasted. If there’s someone, who screams “straight” with every pore of his body, it’s him. And he seemed so completely, amazingly and unbelievably uncomfortable with hugging the young guy, who played his lover, that I actually pitied him for having to do that (I wouldn’t have minded, the guy was cute…).


Okay, that probably sounds like I suffered the whole time, which is not true. I enjoyed Julie Walters (she’s just good in everything she does. And she’s really cool as Elvis) and Christine Baranski a lot, as well as Stellan Skarsgaard.

I laughed and I like the music (every 5 years or so, I even dig out the Best Of CD I own and listen to it), it was fun to see the young hippy versions of the guys and Meryl Streep.

I probably would have enjoyed it more, though, if I had been alone in the movie. Well, my sister could have stayed, but that’s it. People actually clapped along. Newsflash, dear audience: THEY CAN’T HEAR YOU! I understand that sometimes you might want to sing along softly, a verse or two. But clapping??? Really not happening.
[Deadra meant that I’d have to see it more like those Sing-Along Rocky Horror Picture Show showings. To which I say: You’ve gotta earn the right by dressing up first, then you can sing along and shout Weiss and throw toilet paper as much as you want (though I haven’t heard of anybody clapping along). But before I don’t see anybody in one of those one piecers and those shoes, and before I don’t get a warning that those things will happen before I buy the ticket, I stay annoyed.]

But what really killed me, was the buzz in the toilet afterwards, people screaming out “Dancing Queen, young and sweet, …” and one woman in particular, who said to a friend, “I love Colin Firth. But already since 1995, when he was in Pride and Prejudice…” [Translation: “I saw him first, he’s mine, mine, mine!”] [Well, I saw Valmont and that film is older, so he must be mine… But wait, L. saw Another Country before me, so he must be hers!]. I actually had the strength not to laugh out loud. Who’s the bigger person now?

14 thoughts on “Thank Goodness, the 70s are over…

  1. [Edit to include Spoiler Warning]

    Dear heart, if you thought Colin Firth was uncomfortable then you would be dead wrong. The man has a huge sense of humor and besides, this is not the first time he has played a gay character. Add to that that he actually kissed Rupert Everett in St. Trinian’s, you get an actor who doesn’t take himself so seriously as to not be able to do what a part calls for. Didn’t you see that huge grin on his face when he ‘danced off’ with Petros during “Take a Chance on Me”?
    If he was uncomfortable with anything it was the dancing, which he admitted he was lacking in the skills department of.

    [End Spoiler]

    Lighten up, these actors went into this knowing it was a comedy and they had a blast making the film. They also knew their limitations but went with it anyway.

  2. Dee, I think he looked unbelievably uncomfortable and I stand by my assessment. But maybe you saw things that I didn’t see.

    I can imagine that the actors had a lot of fun doing this, in fact, I’m sure that they did, but that doesn’t mean that I have to have fun when watching it. And the singing was painful, I’m afraid.

    But I did enjoy the movie, I just think that they could have made a lot more out of it.

  3. What a coincidence. I was listening to “Dancing Queen” on the radio and got goosepimples. LOL! I am actually looking forward to watching this movie for some reason. And since you did enjoy the movie, I am certain it won’t be that bad either.

  4. Okay…it’s time to own up: I sang along.
    Under my breath.
    Sort of.
    (And I sang much louder in the car on the way home.)

    Wow…I feel so much better now that I got this off my chest.

    What I think Colin Firth was trying to do was show a guy who only just realised that he is gay. So, naturally, such a guy would be flustered and a little uncomfortable. Unfortunately, I also think Colin Firth failed. If only because those scenes were so busy and crowded that we couldn’t get a good look at him.

  5. Singing along is okay, I think I said so. But clapping along? I can’t stand in the theatre, when the actors can actually hear you, how could I stand it at the movies?

    But fine.

    You’re probably right about the Colin Firth part. I have the theory that they gave him very clear instructions on the gestures he should use, so that he became somehow confined and therefore uncomfortable.

    But anywhichway, he did look uncomfortable, didn’t he?

  6. Yup, he did.

    Okay, clapping along is probably just as annoying as talking during the movie.*
    I wanted to kill, kill, KILL those bitches during “Once”.

    * Unless it’s you and/or me doing it, obviously.

  7. Once obviously inspired a lot of talking. The group of people behind me constantly were talking (What’s she doing? Where is he know?). I felt like they had never seen a movie before and didn’t understand the concept of cutting it.

    Anyway, when we talk during a movie, we add entertainment value.

  8. I could not disagree more with this review. I think you have to evaluate this film for what it is: a trully great feel good movie – with some sparkling talent which only adds to the experience. If people want to clap and sing along, that’s what music is for! Don’t be such an utter grinch about it!

    The comment made that Meryl Streep was a ‘bad actress’ in this movie is simply astonishing… anyone can see that her performance of ‘The Winner Takes It All’ in this movie adds a new spin and an emotional depth to an already brilliant song.

    This movie appealed to my mother, myself and my much younger sister – I would strongly advise people to go see it AND to clap along!

  9. @Helen:
    Well, I guess it’s a good thing then that we don’t have to agree :).

    But, as I said before, I did enjoy it and it was fun to watch. But it did have faults and it could have been better than it was.
    And I didn’t mind singing along, but clapping disturbed me. Maybe I am a grinch about that.

    And I didn’t say that Meryl Streep was a bad actress, but that they mader her look like one, which holds true, for me.

    And I also recommended the movie to people I know, because it is enjoyable. I just urge them not to clap along. :)

  10. Hope everyone stops moaning -Mamma mia was a good bit of enjoyable fun – good music – made me realise how good the Abba songs were and everyone did fantastic. Even Julie Walters could be in the next x factor – she was great. It was a really enjoyable film and well put together – wished I had thought up the idea of a story in the first place – Meryl Streep was excellent and I don’t usually like musicals!
    All in all, bloody brillant – would see it again and yes, i’m an Abba fan but who cares – It got my vote.
    Would recommend it to any one!!! 10 out 10.

    Greek holidays won’t do badly out of it as well – the scenery was fab!

  11. @aidan:
    Abba’s cool [at least in small portions], no doubt about that.

    Julie Walters is great in everything she does.

    Anyhow, it’s my personal view, I’m not putting it out there as the eternal truth. And anywhichway, if people actually read what I wrote, they’d see that I did enjoy the movie, that I let other people enjoy the movie (I did not sit in the theatre and complain all the time), that I even recommend it and that I think that the movie could have been better than it was and that I explain why.

  12. Pingback: Fun for Teens, References for Me « Stuff

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