| Note: Two Movie Reviews submitted for "Mamma Mia!" by Jolene Mendez and Keith Cohen.
Review by Jolene Mendez
Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried star in “Mamma Mia!” This beloved musical is made into a full length feature film with a few extras. Mamma Mia follows the journey of a young girl, Sophie (Seyfried), who is searching for closure by finding her father. Her search is not made easy, once she discovers she does not have one father, but possibly three different men it could be. Rather than asking her mother, she sends all three of her possible daddy’s wedding invitations. Shockingly to Sophie all three men arrive for her wedding, unbeknownst to them the true intentions of why they are there. Bill (Stellan Skarsgard), Harry Bright (Colin Firth), and Sam Carmichael (Pierce Brosnan) are kept in the dark for sometime on why they were invited to the wedding of a former love.
Trying to hide these former flames from her mother does not last long. Sophie’s mother, Donna (Streep), quickly finds them held up and finds herself yearning again for them. Upon the reunion with the three men, she is still in the dark as to why they are there. Donna’s friends Tanya (Christine Baranski) and Rosie (Julie Walters), offer moral support for her as she struggles with the decision of telling her daughter who these men are, unaware she is already well informed, thanks to her mom’s diary that she stole. As Sophie prepares to walk down the aisle, will they find out the identity of her father so he can give her away, or will the mystery remain unsolved?
What a blast this film is! Mamma Mia is a bubbly and cheerful film to see with your girlfriends. The timeless music from the super group ABBA is sure to have you dancing in your seats. The film was so exciting and entertaining that I felt swept away. As if I was a wedding attendee, cheering on Sophie to discover herself and for her mother to find happiness. The wonderful scenic shots of Greece were breathtaking. Amazing singing and choreography was offered by the entire cast throughout the film. Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried offered stunning vocal performances. Christine Baranski routine regarding a romance with a younger man was hilarious and impressive. Disappointing was Pierce Brosnan’s performance, that felt more awkward than awarding, and you could tell that he may have felt the same way. Mamma Mia offers great scenery, musical hits, romance and many laughs. Be sure to wait for the ending credits to see an encore performance from the whole cast. RSVP for this one today, not be missed on the big screen.
Mamma Mia - 3 1/2 Stars (Out of four)
Review by Keith Cohen, "The Movie Guy"
The popular stage musical featuring the hit songs of the Swedish quartet ABBA is adapted for the silver screen.
The simple story revolves around a wedding on a remote Greek island. Sophie (Amanda Seyfried from "Mean Girls" and HBO's "Big Love"), age 20, has been raised by her single mother Donna (Meryl Streep). She wants her biological dad to walk her down the aisle when she marries Sky (Dominic Cooper).
After reading her mother's diary, she sends wedding invitations to Sam (Pierce Brosnan, best known as James Bond), Harry (Colin Firth) and Bill (Stellan Skarsgard). All three men had summer flings with Donna.
Donna led a hippy lifestyle before she became pregnant. She would sleep all day and party all night. She played the guitar and was the lead singer in the female rock band Donna and the Dynamos.
Donna's band mates and best gal pals are Rosie (Julie Walters best known as Mrs. Weasley from the "Harry Potter" movies) and Tanya (Christine Baranski). All three possible fathers and the two women confidantes arrive the day before the nuptials.
This guilty pleasure is the feel good movie of the summer. The screenplay does a masterful job of incorporating these tremendous, upbeat, toe-tapping tunes into the story. The production numbers feature impeccably timed choreography, glitzy costumes and effective use of props.
The movie has a light and frothy tone. It proceeds at a quick pace.
Streep is fabulous in the lead role. Her amazing versatility proves why she deserves recognition as one of America's greatest actresses. She holds the record for most Oscar nominations at 15.
She jumps gleefully on a bed while singing "Dancing Queen."ť
This anthem to women's liberation is a celebration of everything feminine. It brought a loud ovation from the audience at the advance screening.
Streep brings tears with her rendition of "Slipping Through My Fingers"ť The lyrics are about a child growing up before a parent's eyes and the empty nest syndrome that follows.
Walters is hysterically funny and steals every scene she appears in. Brosnan can't carry a tune and embarrasses himself by mangling the lyrics of his numbers. Streep tries to salvage their duets.
Streep and Seyfried were perfectly cast as mother and daughter. They have an uncanny similarity in looks, personality and physical mannerisms.
The luscious scenery is a feast for the eyes. The enthusiastic and energetic vibes will put you in a festive mood. The movie has a surprise twist ending. Be sure to stay for the entertaining cabaret encore that plays over the end credits.