Reviewed by: Misty Wagner
Should I save sex for marriage? Answer
What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer
Is formalized marriage becoming obsolete? Answer
Some people are convinced that traditional marriages don’t work and that this practice should be abandoned. What does the Bible say about marriage?
|Featuring:||Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Julie Walters, Dominic Cooper, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski, Juan Pablo Di Pace, Dylan Turner, Chris Jarvis, George Georgiou, Rachel McDowall, Philip Michael, Ashley Lilley, Clare Louise Connolly, Enzo Squillino Jr., Norma Atallah|
|Producer:||Benny Andersson, Judy Craymer, Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Mark Huffam, Björn Ulvaeus, Rita Wilson|
“A mother. A daughter. Three possible fathers. Take a trip down the aisle you'll never forget.”
Mamma Mia is the film version of the incredibly successful Broadway show of the same title. Comprised entirely of Abba songs, Mamma Mia tells the story of Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) and her quest to find out who she is. Our opening scene shows Sophie mailing away three wedding invitations to three men. The next scene reveals that it is now the day before Sophie’s wedding and she is confessing to her bridesmaid’s that she has a secret. She tells the story, or rather sings the story, of how she never knew who her father was. Upon sneaking a peak at the diary her mother kept over the year that Sophie was born, she has now it narrowed down to one of those three men. On a whim, she admitted, she invited all three of them to the wedding. Surprisingly, all three of them accepted and were on their way. Naively, Sophie believed that one look at her true father would reveal that piece of something she was missing all along.
So simple, she thought.
In all actuality, what ensues from her scheme is the resurrection of her mother Donna’s (Meryl Streep) long ago broken heart, hurt and distrust from her groom, (Dominic Cooper) and an immense amount of Chaos and confusion for herself. Along for the chaotic ride of unanswered questions are Sam- (Pierce Brosnon) Donna’s one true love, Bill- (Stellan Skarsgård) her hippie rebound affair, and Harry (Colin Firth) her deep and musically bohemian fling…
Sophie’s claimed difficulties, due to a lack of a father growing up, are a very real and important hurt. So often Hollywood glamorizes the single parent, and it’s refreshing to see it at least acknowledged as an issue. (Of course, this isn’t an attack on single parents either.)
In fact, as a single mother, Donna truly does demonstrate unconditional love. Having come from a family of legalism, Donna’s own mother wouldn’t help her when she ended up pregnant. Instead, Donna gave up her music career to raise her daughter as best she could.
I especially liked that the three potential fathers, (Harry, Bill and Sam) were complete strangers upon coming to Greece for the wedding, but by the end of the film are closely bonded as friends. Considering the reasons they were there, I thought this was a beautiful testament to how we can (and should) make the most of our circumstances—however awkward or grim.
A very strong emphasis was put on the importance of life long friendships, regardless of the way life’s currents change. Donna’s best friends pulled through for her, despite their living on an entirely different continent. Once upon a time the three of them had seemed to have everything in common, but as time passed, now they couldn’t be more different. Yet, bonded and connected they were.
Oh… Where to begin? I won’t list every possibly offensive detail here. It truly would give up the majority of the film and make this a twelve paged review.
There is no nudity. I will give it that. And, actually, except for a few cleavage shots, the wardrobe in this film was impressive. Through a large portion of this movie, Sophia is only dressed in a bathing suit. EVEN SO, it is one of the most modest suits I’ve seen in a movie, in a long time. HOWEVER—the sexual implications, references or suggestive gestures are woven through the film almost from start to finish. Despite this, the profanity is kept fairly mild.
One of the potential fathers, it turns out, is gay.
There is absolutely no respect for the covenant of marriage. The entire underlying theme of the film is love, emotion and feelings.
In the non-glitter clad version of reality, this exact scenario could prove devastating. It could potentially destroy the heart of the child and alter the lives of the mother and possible fathers. I realize this is only a story, but we see it in the world all around us—paternity tests, afternoon talk shows and fatherless children. I just felt that, perhaps, it treated a very real and common scenario a bit too carelessly.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this film. Once a cast full of talented and respectably actors was revealed, even the biggest skeptic couldn’t help but be even a little intrigued. Despite the cast, and their obviously energetic and committed performances, I was disappointed. Perhaps part of the appeal to so many is the cheesy dialogue and barely woven story line. I am willing to allot that as a possibility. I, however, wasn’t impressed. From a film quality perspective, the cinematography often stooped to immature levels. There are several scenes where the blunt contrast in shots is alarming and sloppy. I lost track of the times that the background, props or scenery seemed to look unbelievably cheap. There was a minimal amount of flow from scene to scene, and an almost contradictory tone on more than one occasion. I found the entire film lacking class. I understand the need for tongue-in-cheek humor, gaudy accessories, and even a large portion of the humor—but even so I found the film tasteless and unimpressive. The only time I really enjoyed this movie, was during the credit sequence. There was an element of fun there that could have made the rest of the movie a bit brighter, if the filmmakers had cleaned up the technical angle of things…
Violence: None / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.