Mamma Mia, here we go again – an honest review
Thank Abba for the music! The older kids and I visited the cinema this week as a part of a birthday treat for my eldest daughter. We’ve seen this trailer countless times since March, and having danced around the living room to the soundtrack of the original film time and time again. WE COULDN’T WAIT!
Now I love musicals, and I think I’ve infected the kids with the need to sing out oud at the top of their voices when they hear a song they enjoy. We often bop about the car like maniacs, and music means a lot to us as a family. We are the family who knew every word to Frozen, The Sound of Music, and Chitty chitty bang bang.
So when my daughter saw the trailer for this film she was literally chomping at the bit and counting down the days to her birthday.
The plot contains many many flashbacks of a Summer in the seventies when hedonist Donna graduates from University and leaves little England for a summer of soul searching and travel. She ends up in Greece on a remote island called Skopelos, which legend has it is the end of the world, travel any further at your peril because you’ll fall off the side. I think the flat earth society will enjoy that reference.
In the future her daughter Sophie is gunning to make a success of her mother’s hotel after her mothers death. YES Donna is dead, and yes Meryl Streep makes a cameo later on. Sophie and Sky her husband, are miles apart, two out of her three fathers are absent without leave and the island is hit by the worst storm anyone has seen in centuries.
Abba, Thank you for the music
I’m not a fan of Abba, I like something a little heavier, but the seventies supergroup are a bit of a guilty pleasure. There are millions of songs that you just can’t help but sing along to. The good thing is it doesn’t matter if you have never heard a single one of their songs at all, you’ll still be humming them in your head after you watch the film because they’re infectious!
Even the kids now know Abba Songs. There are a few returning tunes in the film but there is a particularly heartbreaking rendition of Knowing me, knowing you in the film which made me well up abit. Aherm I’ll come to that later. The song list is a little bit more obscure than the first film. You kind of expect this though. Never fear Abba has a back catalogue to rival well, half that of the Beatles…which is a ton of songs.
Never the less, the songs all fit. You don’t feel like anything has been ‘thrown’ into the film. Well apart from one. But I’ll cone to that in a mo.
Donna in flashbacks played by Lily James a young British actress. Now this was my first ooer moment, because Meryl Streep portrayed the ditzy, wonderfully hedonistic character in the first film so well. I really didn’t think Lily could pull it off. But she does exactly that. You may recognise her from Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella.
There are many returning characters, Amanda Seyfried, Dominic Cooper, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Skellan Skarsgard. You also have new additions in the form of Andy Garcia, Cher, Josh Dylan, Hugh Skinner and Jeremy Irvine. Benni and Bjorn from Abba also make a hilarious cameo in the first few scenes throwing a nod to the music.
All the cast can sing. Well, apart from Pierce Brosnan but I forgive him because he was born in Wales. And they all have an epic sense of comedy which is essential!
I usually start film reviews by saying it wasn’t as good as the book. Well…it wasn’t as good as the first.
The plot line is a bit convoluted, but expected to fit in all the singing and dancing they need to do to make a great musical. And it is a great musical. The crux of the story is the lasting relationship between a mother and her daughter. And of course, if you have kids, and a heart, there is massive empathy. I’m not afraid to admit, I cried real tears in front of my kids. Ellis also cried, which means that he got it. He’s ten
There was only one cringe moment for me and that’s the appearance of Cher, a very slow and stiff dance to Fernando. Now Cher is amazing. She’s 72, but man she can hardly make it down the stairs and the convoluted dancing made up for her during the singing of Fernando is REALLY quite painful to watch. She looks amazing, she sounds amazing but watching her act in this film is a bit painful. It’s like they just stuck here there for some reason and it doesn’t sit rightly with me. I hate to be mean but it looks like she’s younger than Sophie but moves like an ironing board.
Sorry Cher fans!
I would definitely recommend this film if you’ve got nothing better to do on a rainy Summer’s afternoon with older children! I give it a mam rants and reviews solid rating of 7/10.
If you haven’t seen the film I’d highly recommend watching the first. You can buy a copy here.