Mamma Mia! (2008) Poster

Mamma Mia! (2008)

  • Rate: 6.3/10 total 67,255 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Musical | Romance
  • Release Date: 18 July 2008 (USA)
  • Runtime: 108 min
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Mamma Mia! (2008)


Mamma Mia 2008tt0795421.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Mamma Mia! (2008)
  • Rate: 6.3/10 total 67,255 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Musical | Romance
  • Release Date: 18 July 2008 (USA)
  • Runtime: 108 min
  • Filming Location: Agios Ioannis Chapel, Skopelos, Greece
  • Budget: $52,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $602,609,487(Worldwide)(5 April 2009)
  • Director: Phyllida Lloyd
  • Stars: Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Amanda Seyfried
  • Original Music By: Benny Andersson   
  • Soundtrack: Lay All Your Love On Me
  • Sound Mix: SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS
  • Plot Keyword: Wedding | Island | Greek Island | Diary | Hotel

Writing Credits By:

  • Catherine Johnson (screenplay)
  • Catherine Johnson (musical book)

Known Trivia

  • The stage play first opened in London on April, 6th, 1999, at the Prince Edward theater. Its North American debut was May 23rd, 2000, at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre. The original Toronto cast then started Mamma Mia!’s pre-Broadway tour in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago. During the Chicago performances, Louise Pitre and Tina Maddigan were invited to play their same roles in the original Broadway cast. The Broadway opening directed by Phyllida Lloyd, was October 18th, 2001, at the Winter Garden Theater, the former home of “Cats”. The play was nominated by the 2002 Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Book; Pitre was nominated for Best Actress in a Musical. By January 2010, the play had exceeded 3400 performances on Broadway, and is the twelfth longest running Boradway show ever (2010). As of April 2007, Mamma Mia! has open productions in: New York, London, Las Vegas, Madrid, Moscow, Stuttgart, Fukuoka, Gothenburg, and Essen. The US and International touring companies have performed in cities all over the globe, including Melbourne, Australia, Utrecht, The Netherlands, and Copenhagen and Horsens, Denmark. According to Variety, the play’s original producer and writer “were broke when they first tried to put the show together and were even snubbed by the Swedish pop group whose music formed the basis for the show. They are now two of the wealthiest women in England.”
  • Phyllida Lloyd also directed the original Broadway play.
  • The first film shot on the new 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios, following a fire after Casino Royale wrapped. The new 59,000 sq. ft. stage was used for song and dance numbers that could not be filmed in the sun in Greece.
  • Meryl Streep went to Stockholm to do her vocal for the song “The Winner Takes it All”. She finished it in one take. Benny Andersson, former ABBA member and co-composer of the songs, calls Streep “a miracle”.
  • Meryl Streep first saw the musical in October 2001 with her daughter Louisa and her daughter’s friends in Manhattan. Streep wrote to the producers to praise them for bringing a little happiness and fun to the lives of New York’s people following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
  • Early in pre-production, the producers suggested including a newly-written original song, to qualify for the Academy Awards’ Original Song Category. Former ABBA members Benny Andersson and Bj√∂rn Ulvaeus refused. Andersson composed some additional music, but the film was ineligible for the Original Song category because all songs were already published.
  • According to Meryl Streep, Julie Walters injured herself whilst filming the “Dancing Queen” musical sequence, by tripping over some rocks on a cobbled street, but “soldiered on”.
  • Mandy Moore, Amanda Bynes, Rachel McAdams, and Emmy Rossum were all considered for the part of Sophie. Olivia Newton-John and Michelle Pfeiffer were considered for the part of Donna. Bill Nighy was considered for one of the “father” parts.
  • Set a new mark for the biggest weekend premiere ever for a movie musical with $27.6 mil. Former record holder was Hairspray.
  • All of the songs were re-orchestrated for the film version, differing from the stage version and their original arrangements. “Under Attack”, “One of Us,” and “Knowing Me, Knowing You” were removed from the script. “The Name of the Game” was filmed, but removed from the final cut; it is included as an extra on the DVD release. “Thank You for the Music” plays over the closing credits. “When All is Said and Done” was never part of the stage show. Donna hums a few bars of “Fernando,” one of ABBA’s biggest hits, as she walks into the old goat house while the fathers are hiding upstairs. (The song is about war, and wouldn’t fit in the story.)

Goofs: Revealing mistakes: When Donna sings "Mamma Mia" on top of the old goat house, her legs are obviously spray-tanned, but the rest of her body is not.

Plot: The story of a bride-to-be trying to find her real father told using hit songs by the popular '70s group ABBA. Full summary »  »

Story: Set on a colorful Greek island, the plot serves as a background for a wealth of ABBA songs. A young woman about to be married discovers that any one of three men could be her father. She invites all three to the wedding without telling her mother, Donna, who was once the lead singer of Donna and the Dynamos. In the meantime, Donna has invited her backup singers, Rosie and Tanya.Written by  

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Benny Andersson known as executive producer
  • Judy Craymer known as producer
  • Gary Goetzman known as producer
  • Tom Hanks known as executive producer
  • Mark Huffam known as executive producer
  • Björn Ulvaeus known as executive producer
  • Rita Wilson known as executive producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Amanda Seyfried known as Sophie
  • Stellan Skarsgård known as Bill
  • Pierce Brosnan known as Sam
  • Nancy Baldwin known as Sam's PA
  • Colin Firth known as Harry
  • Heather Emmanuel known as Harry's Housekeeper
  • Colin Davis known as Harry's Driver
  • Rachel McDowall known as Lisa
  • Ashley Lilley known as Ali
  • Meryl Streep known as Donna
  • Julie Walters known as Rosie
  • Christine Baranski known as Tanya
  • Ricardo Montez known as Stannos
  • Mia Soteriou known as Arina
  • Enzo Squillino Jr. known as Gregoris
  • Dominic Cooper known as Sky
  • Philip Michael known as Pepper
  • Chris Jarvis known as Eddie
  • George Georgiou known as Panos
  • Hemi Yeroham known as Dimitri
  • Maria Lopiano known as Ione
  • Juan Pablo Di Pace known as Petros
  • Norma Atallah known as Irini
  • Myra McFadyen known as Elena
  • Leonie Hill known as Ariana
  • Jane Foufas known as Elpida
  • Niall Buggy known as Father Alex
  • Karl Bowe known as Stag
  • Celestina Banjo known as Hen
  • Emrhys Cooper known as Stag
  • Maria Despina known as Hen
  • Gareth Davis known as Stag
  • Charlotte Habib known as Hen
  • Gareth Derrick known as Stag
  • Jennifer Leung known as Hen
  • Kage Douglas known as Stag
  • Lydia Louisa known as Hen
  • Phillip Dzwonkiewicz known as Stag
  • Kristina MacMillan known as Hen
  • Tommy Franzen known as Stag
  • Lauri Owen known as Hen
  • Tom Goodall known as Stag
  • Joanne Sandi known as Hen
  • Aykut Hilmi known as Stag
  • Christie Saunders known as Hen
  • Jamie Hughes-Ward known as Stag
  • Emma Slater known as Hen
  • Taylor James known as Stag
  • Helen Soraya known as Hen
  • Jack Jefferson known as Stag
  • Caterina Spano known as Hen
  • Peter Le Brun known as Stag
  • Michelle Theunissen known as Hen
  • Sebastien Torkia known as Stag
  • Kitty Whitelaw known as Hen
  • Dylan Turner known as Stag
  • Nikki Davis-Jones known as Hen
  • Ed White known as Stag
  • Michelle Trimboli known as Hen
  • Sean Williams known as Stag
  • Kirsty Mather known as Hen
  • Lee Honey-Jones known as Stag
  • Rebecca Lee known as Hen
  • Gareth Chart known as Stag
  • Clare Louise Connolly known as Hen
  • Sonny Lee Hymas known as Stag
  • Kirsty Swain known as Hen
  • Tim Stanley known as Stag
  • Lisa Reynolds known as Hen
  • Sara West known as Hen
  • Claire Fishenden known as Hen
  • Benny Andersson known as Piano Player on Boat (uncredited)
  • Lori Haley Fox known as Dancer (uncredited)
  • Björn Ulvaeus known as Greek God (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Christina Baker known as makeup artist
  • Amy Byrne known as crowd makeup artist
  • Francesca Crowder known as hair stylist (as Fran Crowder)
  • Polly Earnshaw known as makeup artist
  • Tina Earnshaw known as makeup designer
  • Eithne Fennel known as hair stylist (as Eithné Fennel)
  • J. Roy Helland known as hair stylist: Meryl Streep
  • J. Roy Helland known as makeup artist: Meryl Streep
  • Belinda Hodson known as makeup artist
  • Jessica Needham known as hair & makeup artist: dailies
  • Charlotte Rogers known as crowd hair/makeup artist: daily
  • Olivier Seyfrid known as hair stylist
  • Zoe Tahir known as key hair designer
  • Louise Coles known as makeup daily (uncredited)
  • Nana Fischer known as makeup artist (uncredited)
  • Dimitra Giatrakou known as makeup artist: Greece (uncredited)
  • Denise Kum known as makeup artist (uncredited)
  • Sophie Slotover known as makeup dailies (uncredited)

Art Department:

  • David Ball known as chargehand carpenter
  • John Bohan known as construction manager
  • Paul Bufton known as dressing props
  • Dean Coldham known as chargehand plasterer
  • Graham Cole known as supervising carpenter
  • Lee Cummings known as greensman
  • Catharina Curtis known as art department coordinator (as Kate Curtis)
  • Alexandros Dimitriou known as art department assistant: Greece
  • Paul Duff known as chargehand carpenter
  • Colin Ellis known as dressing prop
  • Gill Farr known as production buyer
  • Michael Finlay known as painter
  • Alan Grenham known as supervising painter
  • Catherine Haugh known as construction coordinator
  • Terry Heggarty known as stand-by painter
  • Nicholas Henderson known as junior draughtsman
  • Leonie Heys-Cerchio known as art department assistant (as Leonie Heys Cerchio)
  • Tara Ilsley known as model maker
  • Patricia Johnson known as senior draftsman (as Patsy Johnson)
  • Gerassimos Karvounis known as chargehand dressing props: Greece (as Gerasimos Karvounis)
  • Helen Koutas known as graphic designer
  • Seeta Lingam known as junior draughtsman (as Seeta Lingham)
  • Steve Macdonald known as chargehand stand-by props (as Stephen McDonald)
  • Bradley Malin known as stand-by stagehand
  • Thomas Martin known as assistant construction manager
  • Bernie Mayor known as chargehand carpenter
  • Richard A. McCarthy known as hod plasterer (as Richard McCarthy)
  • Maxie McDonald known as property master
  • Eamon McLoughlin known as hod carpenter
  • Neil Murrum known as chargehand dressing props
  • Giannis Mylonas known as chargehand dressing props: Greece (as Yiannis Mylonas)
  • John O'Brien known as supervising carpenter
  • Catherine Palmer known as junior draughtsman
  • Richard Payne known as head greensman
  • Sandra Phillips known as junior draughtsman
  • John Roberts known as chargehand painter
  • Andreas Siroyiannis known as props buyer: Greece (as Andreas Syrogiannis)
  • David Smith known as chargehand stagehand
  • Eric Strange known as props
  • Sarah Stuart known as stand-by art director
  • Steve Transfield known as supervising plasterer (as Steve Tranfield)
  • Maria Verdouka known as art department assistant: Greece
  • Tony Vice known as plasterer
  • Clive Ward known as hod painter
  • Ian Whiteford known as greensman
  • Paul Whitelock known as supervising painter
  • Derek Whorlow known as hod stagehand
  • Sophie Campbell known as assistant props buyer (uncredited)
  • Graham Caulfield known as drapesmaster (uncredited)
  • Roy Chapman known as dressing props (uncredited)
  • Stephen Conway known as stand-by prop (uncredited)
  • James Gambino known as typesetting (uncredited)
  • Bruce Gordon known as art department sculptor (uncredited)
  • Gavin Gordon known as carpenter (uncredited)
  • Aziz Hamichi known as property master (uncredited)
  • Rohan Harris known as scenic artist (uncredited)
  • Thomas Jones known as prop maker (uncredited)
  • Julian Walker known as decor and lettering artist (uncredited)




Production Companies:

  • Universal Pictures (presents)
  • Relativity Media (presented in association with)
  • Littlestar (co-production)
  • Playtone (co-production)
  • Internationale Filmproduktion Richter (in association with)

Other Companies:

  • Abbey Road Studios  music recorded at
  • Adacc  
  • Air Studios  music recorded at
  • Angel Studios  music recorded at
  • Arion Facilities  dailies telecine transfers
  • Atlantis Studios  music recorded at
  • Boneau / Bryan-Brown  press representation: international
  • Casting Collective  extras casting
  • Crew Catering  catering
  • Cutting Edge  negative cutting
  • Dakota Music Services  music preparation
  • Dead  titles post-production
  • Decca Records  soundtrack
  • Flying Pictures  aerial services provided by
  • Gearbox Sound and Vision  additional ProTools systems supplied by
  • Goldcrest Post Production London  ADR Facility
  • HireWorks  Avid equipment rental
  • Hothouse Music  music supervisor
  • Intelligent Media  international monitoring agency
  • Klass Entertainment  product placement
  • Kodak  motion picture film supplied by
  • Lee Lighting  lighting equipment
  • Light by Numbers  lighting control system
  • Lightworks  edited on
  • London Session Orchestra, The  orchestra (uncredited)
  • Mono Music Studio  music mixed at
  • Mono Music Studio  music recorded at
  • Nina Lannan Associates  general management: US
  • On Tour Productions  grip and lighting equipment
  • Panalux  grip and lighting equipment
  • Panavision UK  camera equipment provided by
  • Paramount Transportation Services  transportation services
  • Pinewood Studios  movie studio
  • Polydor  soundtrack
  • Right Lobe Design Group  titles
  • Sound One  sound re-recorded at
  • Synxspeed  sound re-recording (foreign dub)
  • Technicolor Digital Intermediates  digital intermediate
  • Technicolor  release printing
  • Treagus Stoneman Associates  general management: UK and International
  • West Trend Apartments  accommodation agent
  • Yamaha Motor Europe  waverunners


  • Toho-Towa (2009) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • United International Pictures (UIP) (2008) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • United International Pictures (UIP) (2008) (Greece) (theatrical)
  • United International Pictures (UIP) (2008) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • Universal Pictures Canada (2008) (Canada) (theatrical) (as Universal Films Canada)
  • Universal Pictures International (UPI) (2008) (Switzerland) (theatrical)
  • Universal Pictures International (UPI) (2008) (Germany) (theatrical)
  • Universal Pictures International (UPI) (2008) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Universal Pictures International (UPI) (2008) (Russia) (theatrical)
  • Universal Pictures (2008) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Argentina Video Home (2008) (Argentina) (DVD)
  • Argentina Video Home (2009) (Argentina) (DVD) (karaoke edtion)
  • Finnkino (2008) (Finland) (all media)
  • RTL Entertainment (2010) (Netherlands) (TV) (RTL4)
  • Universal Home Entertainment (2008) (UK) (DVD)
  • Universal Home Video (2008) (Brazil) (DVD)
  • Universal Pictures Benelux (2008) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Universal Pictures Benelux (2008) (Netherlands) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Universal Pictures (2008) (Germany) (DVD)
  • Universal Studios Home Entertainment (2008) (USA) (DVD)
  • Universal Studios Home Entertainment (2008) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Universal Studios Home Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray) (gift set)
  • Universal Studios Home Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD) (gift set)
  • Universal Studios Home Entertainment (2012) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray) (Universal's 100th Anniversary)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Framestore (visual effects)

Visual Effects by:

  • Aaron Barclay known as compositor: Framestore
  • Tom Baskaya known as compositor: Framestore
  • Zachary Bloom known as scanning and recording: Framestore
  • Turea Blyth known as visual effects editorial: Framestore
  • Clare Brody known as data operator: Framestore
  • Andy Burrow known as scanning and recording: Framestore
  • Tim Caplan known as visual effects associate producer
  • Miodrag Colombo known as compositor: Framestore
  • Jose Fernandez de Castro known as compositor: Framestore
  • Tabitha Dean known as visual effects editorial: Framestore
  • Richard Edwards known as data operator – framestore
  • James D. Fleming known as compositor: Framestore (as James Fleming)
  • Shaina Holmes known as digital artist supervisor
  • Jeremy Hume known as visual effects editor
  • Jon Keene known as visual effects coordinator: Framestore
  • Tim Keene known as visual effects producer: Framestore
  • Bryan Lennon known as digital paint & roto artist: Framestore
  • Peter Logarusic known as digital paint & roto artist: Framestore
  • Jesse Morrow known as visual effects artist
  • Mark Nelmes known as visual effects supervisor
  • Gustaf Nilsson known as compositor: Framestore
  • Sirio Quintavalle known as compositor: Framestore
  • James Reed known as scanning and recording
  • Jimmy Saul known as scanning and recording: Framestore
  • Jeremy Sawyer known as compositor: Framestore
  • Denis Scolan known as compositor: Framestore
  • Kristi Valk known as digital matte painter: Framestore
  • Giuliano Dionisio Vigano' known as compositor: Framestore (as Giuliano Vigano)
  • Tim Young known as compositor: Framestore
  • Lindsay Anderson known as digital compositor (uncredited)
  • Ilona Blyth known as visual effects editor: Framestore (uncredited)
  • Paul Burke known as scanning and recording: Framestore (uncredited)
  • Samuel M. Dabbs known as end title animator (uncredited)
  • Alexis Haggar known as title supervisor (uncredited)
  • Karsten Hecker known as film mastering engineer: Framestore CFC (uncredited)
  • Alex Hessler known as effects technical director: Framestore (uncredited)
  • Justin Israel known as digital artist (uncredited)
  • Paulina Kuszta known as visual effects coordinator (uncredited)
  • Veronica Marcano known as scanning and recording operator: Framestore (uncredited)
  • Christophe Meslin known as head of systems (uncredited)
  • Oliver Minchin known as digital compositor: opening titles: DEAD (uncredited)
  • Bruce Nelson known as digital compositor: Framestore CFC (uncredited)
  • Lee Rankin known as scanning and recording: Framestore CFC (uncredited)
  • Matthew Redding known as digital compositor: opening titles: DEAD (uncredited)
  • Dave Robinson known as systems engineer (uncredited)
  • Aatesh Shah known as systems engineer: Framestore CFC (uncredited)
  • Stephen Willey known as senior systems engineer (uncredited)

Release Date:

  • UK 30 June 2008 (London) (premiere)
  • Netherlands 2 July 2008 (Amsterdam) (premiere)
  • Greece 3 July 2008
  • Belgium 4 July 2008 (Wilkinson American Movie Day)
  • Sweden 4 July 2008 (Stockholm) (premiere)
  • Australia 9 July 2008 (Melbourne) (premiere)
  • Iceland 9 July 2008
  • Australia 10 July 2008
  • Kuwait 10 July 2008
  • Norway 10 July 2008
  • Philippines 10 July 2008
  • UK 10 July 2008
  • United Arab Emirates 10 July 2008
  • Denmark 11 July 2008
  • Ireland 11 July 2008
  • Sweden 11 July 2008
  • Czech Republic 12 July 2008 (Karlovy Vary International Film Festival)
  • USA 16 July 2008 (New York City, New York) (premiere)
  • Germany 17 July 2008
  • Hungary 17 July 2008
  • Netherlands 17 July 2008
  • Switzerland 17 July 2008 (German speaking region)
  • Austria 18 July 2008
  • Canada 18 July 2008
  • Estonia 18 July 2008
  • Finland 18 July 2008
  • Turkey 18 July 2008
  • USA 18 July 2008
  • Israel 31 July 2008
  • Spain 8 August 2008 (limited)
  • Spain 13 August 2008
  • Czech Republic 14 August 2008
  • Argentina 21 August 2008
  • Colombia 22 August 2008
  • Taiwan 23 August 2008
  • Thailand 28 August 2008
  • Mexico 29 August 2008
  • Poland 29 August 2008
  • South Africa 29 August 2008
  • Portugal 4 September 2008
  • Slovakia 4 September 2008
  • Slovenia 4 September 2008
  • South Korea 4 September 2008
  • Bulgaria 5 September 2008
  • Romania 5 September 2008
  • Belgium 10 September 2008
  • France 10 September 2008
  • Switzerland 10 September 2008 (French speaking region)
  • Hong Kong 11 September 2008
  • Brazil 12 September 2008
  • India 12 September 2008
  • Vietnam 12 September 2008
  • Malaysia 18 September 2008
  • Singapore 18 September 2008
  • Indonesia 19 September 2008
  • Panama 19 September 2008
  • Russia 25 September 2008
  • Italy 3 October 2008
  • Egypt 15 October 2008
  • Chile 16 October 2008
  • Peru 16 October 2008
  • Venezuela 24 October 2008
  • Japan 30 January 2009
  • Pakistan 15 February 2009 (Karachi International Film Festival)
  • USA 21 June 2009 (Provincetown International Film Festival)
  • Finland 27 August 2009 (Espoo Film Festival)
  • Italy 22 October 2009 (Rome Film Festival)

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for some sex-related comments



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , .


  1. sofie-17 from Belgium
    30 Mar 2012, 5:09 pm

    Went to see Mamma Mia without particularly high expectations. Not beinga big connoisseur (or even fan) of musicals, I didn't really know whatto expect. Though I adore ABBA, I never bothered to watch the stageproduction of Mamma Mia. But having a cinema membership, I didn't havemuch to lose (no money, at least), so I went for it. And boy, am I gladthat I did! I can safely say that I enjoyed every second of it. And I'mnot even ashamed to admit it!

    Give Meryl Streep another Oscar and get it over with already. If shecould get a nod for the Devil Wears Prada, she definitely deserves onefor this. She really let her hair down on this one. Mrs. Streep canobviously not pass for a trained singer, but somehow, it just doesn'tseem to matter. It just really worked in the movie (unlike -say- HelenaBonham Carter's singing in Sweeney Todd). When I heard Meryl'srendition of "The winner takes it all" in advance, it lowered myexpectations considerably, but in its context, it totally made sense.

    Most of all though, this movie was just sheer fun. People wereclapping, laughing…Rarely have I seen an audience as enthusiastic.The crowd especially responded well to Meryl and her two cronies(arguably the strongholds of the movie). Also, because I had never seenthe musical before, I was amazed (and amused) at the inventive ways inwhich they managed to incorporate so many ABBA-songs. Equally brilliantwas the way the extras (usually some Greek old women) were deployedthroughout the movie…And then of course the setting (beautifulGreece) was mesmerizing…

    Basically, Mamma Mia is a superb musical that doesn't take itself tooseriously. If you're just a little bit crazy and want to have a goodlaugh, if you love ABBA, want to see Meryl Streep like you've neverseen her before or if you simply have a secret crush on Colin Firthand/or Pierce Brosnan (his singing was nothing short of hilarious), youwill LOVE this movie. Best summer flick so far. Warmly recommended.

  2. Blotkey from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:09 pm

    I didn't know what to expect when going into watch "Mamma Mia", wasthis gonna be another Hairspray or Across the Universe or Rent? Thiswas a lighthearted, quite enjoyable movie of its own style, Meryl Strepblew the entire audience away with her comedic persona in this movie.After seeing her in Devil Wears Prada, you are shaken momentarily afterseeing her climb on top a roof singing "Mamma Mia!" and swoon and thedance teenage giddy girl dance. You'll love this movie for trio ofolder woman characters, they were all so funny. Mr. James Bond'scharacter and singing was such a hilarious delight for the audience, wecouldn't believe this was the man who played a top secret spy agent.

    With just the right amount of eccentricity, heart, and *get out ofthose movie chairs and DANCE IN THE AISLE* ABBA music, you'll neverwant this adventure to end.

  3. fionaallen from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 5:09 pm

    I saw this film at the screening on Sunday and was not too sure of whatto expect from it. I hadn't seen the west end show so was not reallyaware of the story line but that really did not matter.

    As soon as the first song started I was loving it! The actors may notbe that great at singing but does it matter?! They are actors after alland this is not the west end! The actors play the parts really well andmake fun of themselves at the same time. The story line is fun and haslaughs for all ages. Julie Waters is her fantastic self in it and MerylStreep plays the mother really well. The dance scenes are great andwell put together. Loads of people in the cinema were singing anddancing in their seats so just enjoy it and have some laughs for a fewhours.

    If you take it for what it is, a fun laugh out loud film with goodactors and fantastic songs, then you will enjoy this film so much.Isuspect that this will be a summer box office hit! Enjoy it and havefun – you may need your tissues though as I'm pretty sure some of youwill be crying with laughter at some of the scenes.

  4. Neil Welch from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 5:09 pm

    I like, but don't love, musicals – my DVD shelves contain a selection,but the stuff there is pretty obvious: Singing in the Rain, King and I,Wizard of Oz, Moulin Rouge etc.. I'm not a Meryl Streep fan – I admireher craft, but mostly haven't liked the parts she's played. Conversely,I've always like Abba's music. So that's my starting point whenconsidering this movie which I have just been to see with my 80-yearold mother.

    The story is a piece of fluff. Sophie, who lives with her mother in adilapidated hotel on an idyllic Greek island, wants nothing more thanfor her father to be at her forthcoming wedding. The trouble is herfather could be any one of three men with whom her mother dot dotdotted twenty years ago. So Sophie invites all three of them to herwedding and, as expected, complications ensue. The story, such as itis, is quite strong enough to enable the songs to be hooked onto it.And the songs, with one or two obvious exceptions (Money Money Moneycued by the rundown state of the hotel) are very cannily worked intothe story so that each one is relevant.

    The film looks great. The Greek locations overflow with sun and primarycolours. The script is mostly fairly deft, and there is a sprinkling ofdecent laughs.

    But the film ultimately stands or falls – and it stands, believe me! -on two things: the music, and the cast.

    The music – sitting through this film brings home the strength of theAbba catalogue. There isn't a weak song among the two dozen whichfeature on the soundtrack. The music, produced by composer BennyAndersson, mostly wisely sticks very close to the originalarrangements, and the occasional divergences (Greek bouzouki on I Had ADream, for instance) are spot on.

    And the cast – well, they deliver. Brosnan's singing has beencriticised, but he is always in tune, and he delivers a satisfactoryvocal performance rather than dazzling with a polished singingtechnique (which he hasn't got). The four leading women are allwonderful. Julie Walters and Christine Baranski as Meryl Streep's twooldest friends are both very funny (Julie Walters has a particularlyfunny little bit of business in a rubber boat), and Baranski has herown knockout number. Amanda Seyfried as Sophie is simply delightful -she sings well, carries the plot and all the emotion which goes withit, and is very easy on the eye. And Meryl Streep is a revelation.

    This film is an utterly joyous experience. My old Mum and I came out ofthe cinema buoyed up by the experience of watching it, and I cannotrecommend it highly enough to anyone who enjoys musicals and/or Abba'smusic.

  5. Chris_Docker from Scotland, United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 5:09 pm

    Mamma Mia! Does the mention of anything Abba-ish send you cringing to acorner? Or are you already joining in and dancing on the tabletops?Maybe another few drinks . . .

    In short, if you are not allergic to Abba, book your tickets now. Ifyou are, why would you be reading this? At a pinch, it is worth seeingfor Meryl Streep alone, who not only throws herself headlong into everyrefrain with unashamed gusto, but adds a touch of class and nuance towhat otherwise could be a one-dimensional adaptation. Streep vacillatesengagingly between playing herself and not taking herself tooseriously. Pierce Brosnan just about keeps up, and manages moreexpressions than he ever did as James Bond. Colin Firth and JulieWaters trail behind somewhat. Yet Mama Mia! is a roller coaster ofemotion, careering colourfully from the blue waters of the Adriatic,bursting 'like Aphrodite's Fountain' into the lives of Donna (Meryl) ,her lovers and friends, and her soon-to-be-wed daughter. It is theparty spirit that says kick your shoes off and sing silly cheesy songs.Altogether now.

    And yes – there's a story. Donna's daughter Sophie is getting married.To the buff-looking Sky. Only – where's her dad? She's never met him. Asneak-peek at Mom's diary shows Mom had three lovers before Sophie wasborn and Sophie secretly invites all of them. This is a film ofthreesomes. Three past lovers (Sam, Bill and Harry). Three closefriends (Donna and two best pals). And, not to be outdone, Sophie meetsup with two other young girls at the start of the film.

    The breakneck pace still allows for brilliantly put together shots.Like Streep doing a 'Titanic' with drapes blowing in the wind. Or apier-load of young hunky stag night crew doing a dance in trunks anddeep-dive flippers. Moonlit boats and beaches to "I Have a Dream."Filmed on location, the views won't disappoint. And like a favouritesong whose ending we know, the drama is in the details and execution.

    As with many adapted-from-stage musicals, two young leads are played bytalented singers, and the older parts by serious actors can sing wellenough. Streep manages extremely well. Her performance is soprofessional and assured it leaves others standing. Fortunately, it isperhaps easy to paper over any cracks in musical comedy. Sweeney Toddrelied heavily on Depp's charisma and stunning cinematography. Acrossthe Universe, too heavily on the songs. Mamma Mia!, on the other hand,simply tailors everything to its joyous headlong rush. The songs fitnaturally to the action. Streep even manages to sing them with hertongue firmly in cheek. She confesses to having been a "stupid recklesslittle slut" but then says she "grew up". (To which her pals chime in,"Well grow back down again!") The film is not without faults. There isa notable lack of chemistry between the people that throw themselvesrapturously against each others' faces. Even Streep looks less thanconvincing in a brief lips-mash. And the men are a bit croaky in thesinging department (Hugh Grant might even have been a preferablecasting choice). And some of the time-line is wobbly. For instance,strange as it may seem, music from more than twenty years ago does notall come from the same era. So reminiscing about flower power (earlysixties) in the same breath as a Johnny Rotten t-shirt (Sex Pistols,mid-late seventies) is either anachronistic or wishful thinking.

    Sadly, I am of a generation that can remember Abba-mania. The recordswould shoot to number one. Yet even then few people would admit tobuying them. I used to manage a night club, and Abba was great music toask a girl up to dance. My entire chat-up repertoire at that timeconsisted of, "Would you like to dance?" and "Do you want to come backfor a coffee?" But girls would be so happy dancing to Mamma Mia they'dsay yes anyway. I'd fall in love with a new girl each week. Ah, thosewere the days! Now there's a new generation of Abba fans who have noneed to 'come out of a closet'. Abba is retro-chique. Even Madonnasegued an Abba riff into one of her songs. From karaoke to hen nights.From '70s' nights to gay dance-floors. Dress up. Camp it up. Sing itup. Get sassy and cheesy. Or, if you're old enough to remember, flyback in time to wonderful memories.

    Mamma Mia!, whatever detractors might say, has been one of the mostsuccessful stage shows of recent times. Supported by the same directorand original band members, the movie may well reach the similar fanbases. Or just the party spirit in all of us.

  6. rayclister from Australia
    30 Mar 2012, 5:09 pm

    I did enjoy this romp in the Greek Islands and was surprised at howwell Meryl Streep sang. It's light, full of froth and bubble andperhaps has some aspects of Grease and Bollywood in it. The reason themusic works I feel is that they haven't really messed with thearrangements of the songs keeping them generally faithful to the Abbaoriginals. But Pierce Brosnan's vocal efforts were abysmal, almostlaughable. Perhaps it was meant to be a send up of the original songsall the way through but he really did manage to mangle the vocals in myopinion. If you have seen the musical on stage you will know what toexpect and there are some funny moments in the film and the Greekislands are as always a superb backdrop for the action.

  7. jess-154 from england
    30 Mar 2012, 5:09 pm

    TheFanCarpet.Com – Initial Reaction

    Take a Chance… It's Surprisingly Brilliant!

    While the majority of the film is brilliantly silly, Meryl Streep givesus an emotional show stopping performance of 'The Winner Takes It All.Who wouldn't pay to see James Bond singing 'SOS'? Pierce Brosnan washumorously over-emoting everything but it worked perfectly within thecontext of the film.

    Donna and Sophie (Mother and Daughter) are perfectly cast with anuncanny similarity in both looks and personality. Julie Walters almoststeals the whole show, sorry I mean film, with her performance of 'Takea Chance on Me'.

    It does take you about 20 minutes to settle down from the excitement ofthis outstanding cast singing their hearts out. I'm not the biggest'movical' fan but if go in with an open mind and a bunch of people andyou'll leave uplifted and pleasantly surprised.

  8. Elise Maeland from Norway
    30 Mar 2012, 5:09 pm

    After watching the Mamma Mia! musical in London, I was thrilled to hearabout the movie coming out. Meryl Streep in a musical seemed like justone reason to watch it. Well, I must say.. It was a lot more than whatI expected! The beautiful scenery, the cast and the songs. A good mixof tears, laughter and love that will make you feel like you're a partof the gang and enjoy every bit of this movie. Not one of the castmembers let me down. It really is a feel-good movie and it made me wantto stand up and sing a long. The ABBA songs are made for dancing and inthis movie it reassured me. The singing and the dancing put smiles onpeople's faces, and it makes you feel happy and as if all worries aregone. I certainly smiled during the entire movie. The cast members wereall wonderful singers and especially the two lead actresses MerylStreep and Amanda Seyfried impressed me. A well-made movie that isworth watching more than once!

  9. Martin Bradley ( from Derry, Ireland
    30 Mar 2012, 5:09 pm

    I have a confession to make that could land me in serious trouble here.I love this movie with a love bordering on the unnatural. Of course, Ihear you saying, that can only mean one thing; you're a gay man of acertain age and if you haven't come out of the closet already. you'recoming out now, and wearing sequins at the same time. No straight man,I hear you say, could love this movie with this kind of unbridledpassion, so if you have aspirations to being a 100% red-bloodedheterosexual male, (is there such a thing?), then keep any fondness for"Mama Mia" to yourself; you will automatically be suspect. Of course, Icould just as easily be a teenage girl, (it's a chick flick, afterall), and be in equally serious difficulties with my peers, for loving"Mama Mia" would then mean I had already turned into my mother, forthis is a chick flick for the older chick and no mistake.

    I had avoided it on stage. I have never been a fan of 'juke-box'musicals where a plot is conjured up around a set of songs by awell-known group or artist. And my undiminished love of Abba, (there,I'm out of the closet – happy now?), made me shy away from, rather thanrun to, a show where their greatest hits were sung, karaoke-style, byothers. But something drew me to the movie. Perhaps it was Meryl, (ifMeryl liked it, it can't be that bad, I kept saying to myself). Perhapsit was the locations, (it all takes place on a very travelogue Greekisle). Perhaps, ultimately, it was the songs, (who isn't a dancingqueen, after all). Nevertheless, going to "Mama Mia", the movie, wasstill like dipping my toe in the water before deciding if I wanted todo a full length of the pool. The last thing I expected was to fallhead over heels, to turn into a blubbering mess, to turn into theoldest dancing queen on the block and into my mother all at the sametime. "Mama Mia" is a guilty pleasure, (no self-respecting cineasteshould ever admit to even liking this movie, never mind loving it), butas guilty pleasures go, this is the best junk meal you are ever likelyto have.

    It's director, Phyllida Law, did it on the stage so at least she isfamiliar with the material, but she is new to movies and after the messSusan Stroman made of "The Producers" I didn't really expect anything,but while "The Producers" was stagey,(and not in an appealing way),"Mama Mia" is genuinely cinematic. Lloyd's idea of film-making may beto let her camera roam all over the place, (she seems to have an MTVmentality), but she also knows how to build a production number. Thisis a fully-fledged musical of the old school. And now I am beginning tosee the light. It's OK, guys, you can admit to liking "Mama Mia"without worrying too much about revealing your sexuality. Straight menare allowed to like musicals, too, aren't they? Then, of course, thereare those songs, the ones we grew up loving. I read somewhere that Abbadidn't write great songs because no-one covered them, unlike, say,Lennon and McCartney; that what made Abba's songs 'great' was the Abbasound. There may be something in that; the 'Abba sound' produced someof the greatest pop ever. Arguably, the songs that Abba, (and by Abba,I mean Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson), wrote and recorded are thegreatest pop songs we've been given. So how do they work coming fromthe mouths of people who, effectively, aren't singers? (Ok, Meryl, weall know you can sing and act and probably split the atom at the sametime, and the girl who plays her daughter, Amanda Seyfried, sounds verypleasant to the ear). Well, the answer is bloody marvelous. Most ofthese songs sound as if they were written for the film and not theother way round; in other words, they fit the plot in the way thatsongs in a good musical should and they are good enough to stand ontheir own.

    These are Broadway show-tunes and they aren't wholly reliant on 'theAbba sound'. So what if Julie Walters and Stellan Skarsgard croak theirway through 'Take a Chance on Me'; by the time they get around to it Iwould have taken a chance on anyone. So Pierce Brosnan can't sing?Neither can Tom Waits or Leonard Cohen and yet we love them to bits.(Actually, Brosnan can just about manage to hold a tune and he makes afairer fist of it than Lee Marvin or Clint Eastwood did in "Paint yourWagon"). And Meryl, of course, is wonderful. Our greatest livingactress is having fun here. This is her first fully-fledged musical: Ijust wondered what took her so long, (her rendition of 'The Winnertakes it All' is one of the great solo performances in any musical).

    But does any of this justify my over-whelming and totally inexplicablepassion? Probably not, which is why it is inexplicable. It's not a'great' movie, (although it could just be a 'great' musical); it oftenfeels like a bunch of friends' best ever holiday video where they keepbursting into song with fully orchestrated backing, and it gives atotally new meaning to the term 'Greek Chorous'. So, obviously I am amiddle-aged gay man with a full wardrobe of seventies gear. (Icertainly haven't turned into my mother!). I mean, what otherexplanation can there be? Oh, I've just thought of one. It is a greatmovie musical and it's a terrific way to spend an evening. So I can nowsafely go back into my closet if I can find room among all the sequinsand seventies gear.

  10. Roland E. Zwick ( from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:09 pm

    Armed with irresistible hooks, soaring melodies and near-celestialvocal stylings, the Swedish pop group ABBA churned out a body ofinsanely catchy and superbly crafted tunes – "Waterloo," "SOS,""Fernando," Dancing Queen," "The Winner Takes it All," etc. – that madeit the world's top-selling musical act of the 1970's and early 1980's.Several decades later, ABBA's music became the basis for a hit stagemusical entitled "Mamma Mia!" in which a simple narrative was deftlywoven around many of the quartet's songs. Now, the much-ballyhooedmovie version of "Mamma Mia!," written by Catherine Johnson anddirected by Phyllida Lloyd, has arrived on the scene.

    The story takes place on a beautiful Greek island where thenever-married Donna (Meryl Streep) single-handedly runs a modest hotelfor an ever-thinning crowd of tourists. Her daughter, Sophie (thecharming Amanda Seyfried), has never known who her real father is,mainly because Donna herself doesn't even know. With the help of hermother's diary from twenty years ago, Sophie narrows the candidatesdown to three (Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard), thensecretly invites them to her wedding in the hope that she will be ableto figure out which of them is her real father in time to have himaccompany her down the aisle.

    On stage, "Mamma Mia!" succeeded primarily because it was able to keepits wafer-thin storyline modest in scale and life-sized in scope. Butblown up to the magnified proportions of the big screen, the materialbecomes a compendium of overacting (Julie Walters being the mostegregious culprit in that regard), ham-handed literalization, forcedspontaneity, and production values that look both gaudy and chintzy atone and the same time. Moreover, the direction is clunky, thechoreography abysmal (especially compared to what we were treated to in"Hairspray" just a year ago), the photography either over orunderexposed (depending on whether the scene is set at night or duringthe day), and the singing not unlike what one might hear emanating fromthe local pub on an average karaoke-night.

    In fact, there has always been an inherent problem built into "MammaMia!," which is that much of ABBA's charm derives from the crystallinevoices of its lead singers, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Faltskog.Take away those harmonies and at least a certain percentage of thatcharm is lost. Now the movie version of "Mamma Mia!" comes along andsimply compounds the problem by hiring big-name actors rather thantrained singers to somehow interpret the pieces for us. Indeed, thismust be the only musical in movie history made up almost entirely ofpeople who can't sing (at least in the old days they used to dub thevoices in if they had to). One has to give Streep brownie points for atleast trying to belt out the tunes, but her rendition of "The WinnerTakes it All," which was the rafter-rattling showstopper in the stageversion, falls flat due not only to her own inadequacies as a vocalistbut to the awkward staging and foolish hand gestures she uses toaccompany her singing (almost as if she were trying to act out thelyrics as she's singing them). Actually, I've never understood whyanyone would buy either the original cast recording or the soundtrackto "Mamma Mia!" anyway when the real thing is readily available andclearly far superior to any imitation.

    All that being said, I am still inclined to at least half-heartedlyrecommend that people go to see this movie for a number of reasons.First, because the music itself (written by Benny Anderson and BjornUlvaeus) is fun, infectious and finally irresistible, no matter howmuch the singers may be unintentionally stomping all over it; second,because even though their singing leaves much to be desired, Streep,Bosnan and Seyfried somehow make us care about the characters and thesilly little predicament they're caught up in; and third, because thereare a number of scenes that actually work quite nicely, the best beingwhen Donna sings the sweet mother's lament "Slipping Through MyFingers" (a song clearly within Streep's limited vocal range) to hersoon-to-be-wed daughter. Streep and Seyfried are both very moving andpoignant not only in that particular scene but in all of the scenes inwhich they appear together.

    For the half dozen or so audience members who aren't already familiarwith the ABBA oeuvre, one can only hope that they will use "Mamma Mia!"as a springboard to sampling the real deal.

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