Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
How can I deal with temptations? Answer
How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer
What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer
music in the Bible
Lily James … Young Donna
Meryl Streep … Donna
Amanda Seyfried … Sophie
Christine Baranski … Tanya
Andy Garcia … Fernando
Pierce Brosnan … Sam
Dominic Cooper … Sky
Colin Firth … Harry
Cher … Ruby Sheridan
Stellan Skarsgård … Bill
Julie Walters … Rosie
Celia Imrie … Vice Chancellor
Jeremy Irvine … Young Sam
Hugh Skinner … Young Harry
Josh Dylan … Young Bill
Alexa Davies … Young Rosie
Jessica Keenan Wynn … Young Tanya
Naoko Mori … Yumiko
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|Director||Ol Parker—“Imagine Me & You” (2005), writer of “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” 1-2|
Universal [Great Britain]
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“Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again” takes place shortly following the events of the first film. Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) has been running the hotel ever since her mother, Donna (Meryl Streep), passed away. Sophie, with her new manager, have been remodeling the hotel, hoping that it will draw more business. Her fiancé (yes, I said, fiancé) Sky (Dominic Cooper) is in New York City learning about the hotel business from the very best in the business. The problem is is that Sky has been offered a position in New York City, and Sophie can’t just up and abandon the hotel.
Additionally, Sophie’s had quite some difficulty trying to get her other 2 possible dads Bill (Stellan Skarsgård) and Harry (Colin Firth) to attend, due to their very important conferences and engagements. Will Sophie’s efforts all be for nought? Will she be able to live up to her mother’s legacy? Well, nothing a couple songs won’t fix, right?
I bet most of you didn’t know that, apart from reviewing movies, I’m a full time music teacher? As such, I’m quite passionate about musical theater, as it combines both my love of music and, obviously, theater. It wasn’t till around my freshman year in college that I really started to take a greater interest in musical theater, understanding the subtle nuances that go into every performance, how definitively the music must be in line with the story. I also began to develop the understanding that you can’t just slap music to any story and call it a musical.
When I first heard about the musical “Mamma Mia,” that’s exactly what I thought. Someone just inserted songs from the group ABBA into a story and called it a musical. In my own judgment, after viewing the first film, I still feel that’s what happened. With “…Here We Go Again,” we still have that “insert-popular-songs-into-a-story-and-make-it-a-musical” feel, but it doesn’t feel rushed or perhaps as half-attempted as the first film.
For example, the song selections for the second film are not ABBA’s most recognized music. Second, “…Here We Go Again,” seems to have more “heart” to it than the first. I say this with caution though, as there are times it is hard to remember there is “heart” to this story, it revolves around fornication and a main character has “three possible dads” and with characters’ lifestyles of sleeping with whomever they please is somewhat glorified on screen.
This musical, and the first one, glorify and objectify sex outside of a life-long commitment of marriage, and living with one of the opposite sex outside of marriage. Like I said, it is incredibly EASY to forget that these films glorify this as you are singing along to your favorite ABBA songs, as I was, and therein lies the danger for Christians. The first film shouts, “Go ahead and have sex with whomever you wish and figure out the rest later when it matters,” and the second emphasizes young Donna’s behavior (in flashback form) even more. Christians should keep the following in the back of their mind: Sexual activity with another human being is an act that God has only ordained to occur in marriage. As Jesus states:
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. —Mark 10:8
The Bible also states:
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable. —1 Thessalonians 4:3-4
Having said that, here is content you should be aware of should, you desire to see “…Here We Go Again.”
Vulgarity/Profanity: Moderately Heavy. —“J*sus Chr*st” (1), “Oh my G*d” (3), “G*d” (2), “h*ll (2), “Be still my beating v*gina,” (1), “Your wandering eye and restless groin,” “Sleep all day and woo all night,” “Your pants are a raging wildfire that can’t be controlled,” “Have him washed and brought to my tent.”
Sexual Content/Nudity: Very Heavy. • Young women talk of “sleep all day and woo all night.” • Lusting for a paricular young man, a girl says, “Be still my beating v*gina.” She then jokes that he should be washed and brought to her room. • A group of young women sing about kissing a teacher. • Music lyrics include “Touch me gently like a summer evening breeze. Take your time, make it slow,” and “Make your fingers soft and light. Let your body be the velvet of the night.” • Talking to a young woman he has just met, a young man elaborates the advantages to them spending the night together. He says it would be a favor to him as it would be his first time. They are later shown in bed cuddled together under sheets after sex. He remarks that it was the greatest event of his life. • A young man oogles a young woman’s buttock (clothed) and attempts to put his hand on her body and kiss her. • A young man offers a young woman a ride in a boat, explaining that there are only 2 beds and one is full of stuff. • A young man says supposes that a girl is not the kind to sleep with someone she has just met. She responds with “No,” but then adds “not usually.” • Various uncommitted couples passionately kiss. • Standing on a public street, a clothed couple is briefly seen making out. • After a young couple kiss in his bed, there is off-camera sex. • A young woman drawn to a particular young man claims she wants to have his babies. • Young women are in bikini tops and other clothing with cleavage and midriffs revealed, and there are shirtless men.
Other: There are multiple scenes involving alcohol.
If you were to take away the music in “…Here We Go Again,” what you would have is a story about how a girl went from being an Oxford graduate to managing her own hotel on a small island in Greece, which would still make for a good story. But, of course, there’s the fact that this particular girl slept with three different men (strangers, really) on her trip from point A to point B, and both films have actively promoted this “live as you wish” lifestyle, which, to Christians, should serve as a MAJOR red flag. Though this movie has a lot of potential (more than the first did) and has a lot more heart than the first did, “…Here We Go Again” does not warrant a recommendation from this reviewer.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.