Today’s Prayer Focus

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!

also known as “Mamma Mia! 2,” “Mamma Mia! Vamos otra vez,” Mamma Mia! Ci risiamo,” “Mamma Mia! Lá Vamos Nós de Novo,” “Mamma Mia! O luam de la capat,” See more »
MPA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPA) for some suggestive material.

Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan

Moral Rating: Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: • Adults
Genre: Music Romance Comedy Sequel
Length: 1 hr. 54 min.
Year of Release: 2018
USA Release: July 20, 2018 (wide—3,200+ theaters)
DVD: October 23, 2018
Copyright, Universal Picturesclick photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures

PURITY—Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

Copyright, Universal Pictures

SEXUAL LUST and fornication—Why does our Creator warn about them?

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

Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.

music in the Bible

Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures
Featuring Lily JamesYoung Donna
Meryl StreepDonna
Amanda SeyfriedSophie
Christine Baranski … Tanya
Andy GarciaFernando
Pierce BrosnanSam
Dominic CooperSky
Colin FirthHarry
CherRuby Sheridan
Stellan Skarsgård (Stellan Skarsgard) … 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
See all »
Director Ol Parker — “Imagine Me & You” (2005), writer of “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” 1-2
Producer Legendary Entertainment
Universal [Great Britain]
See all »

“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.

TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

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:

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. —Hebrews 13:4

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

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. —Romans 12:1

Content of Concern

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.

SEXUAL LUST and fornication—Why does our Creator warn about them?

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.

  • Sex: Very Heavy
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Moderately Heavy
  • Profane language: Moderate
  • Nudity: Moderate
  • Violence: None
  • Occult: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Neutral—Cute movie that, yes, does revolve around casual sex. Given the setup of the original film, I thought it might be “worse” in showing content than it is—but it was relatively tame (that doesn’t make it okay). Overall, the movie was a lot of fun. The songs seemed not to fit at first, but the second half of the film was better and had more of a sense of pace and purpose; it was downright touching at the end and left everyone in my row sniffling. I think the critics have been a bit hard on it—it’s not a masterpiece (neither was the original, though it was also enjoyable) but neither is it a disaster. The acting is quite good, especially from young Lily James.

I think most mature believers are wise enough to see through the lies (that casual sex is fine) but it could influence younger, more impressionable minds, especially since it creates a sense of “longing” to explore the world. It’s a shame the original film chose the back story it did to explain Sophie—and it’s also a shame the writers of this one weren’t a little more creative in how her mother wound up not being sure who the father of her unborn child was; there’s a lot of ways to tell that story, and they chose the simplest and least-complex explanation.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Charity, age 35 (USA)
Negative—This is a movie/musical selling consequence-free sex to the millennial generation. I went to see it with my wife, because she loved ABBA music, because she sings (beautiful second-soprano), and it looked chick-flick/friendly. That was a mistake.

It is no movie to see if you are a man who has made a covenant with his eyes. While there is not lots of what this generation calls nudity, there is suggestive dance, dress, and the main character (the mother) has been intimate with 3 guys and doesn’t know which is the father of her child.

I would not recommend this movie at all to any Christian outside of someone female, and actively trying to study and counter the destructive messages of our fallen culture.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
Michael M, age 44 (USA)
Negative—I stopped going to see movies in theaters, because I found myself walking out of them too often, wasting my money. So I have been watching some of them on DVDs borrowed from the library. I just watched this movie, and, yes, I would have walked out within the first half hour. I like to think that I am an open-minded and liberal movie critic, but this movie is really atrocious. As already stated in the review, it glorifies casual sex to an extreme. Apart from the ably done dancing and singing, there is absolutely nothing interesting nor positive about this film. May I also add that it is stupid and boring.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Halyna Barannik, age 72 (USA)

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.

Secular Movie Critics
…The many songs are mostly forgettable deep tracks from the Abba repertoire, as the first film burned through most of the hits. …
Roger Moore, Movie Nation
…The pleasures of Ol Parker’s film are simple and sensual, its riot of color and sweet, nostalgic songs proving wholly agreeable even without much of a plot to hold it all together. …
Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair
…escapist fluff of the highest order — joyful, filled with beloved pop songs and incredibly bizarre…
Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service
…it is nearly two hours of relentless, plotless, artless junk…
Rex Reed, The New York Observer
…this second trip feels older and wiser, for better or worse, and despite the odd misstep you’ll still be dancing in the aisles come the end credits. …
Ben Travis, Empire [UK]
…takes a lot of the original’s qualities and then amplifies them to the nth degree. It’s bigger and crazier, and the emotions actually seem to run a bit deeper at times. By the way, that pattern remains consistent with the film’s negatives. If the original plot seemed like a flimsy excuse to trot out a bunch of ABBA’s Europop classics, the new film basically does away with a plot altogether. But really, who needs one? …
Randy Cordova, The Republic (Phoenix AZ)
…I wish I could tell you that “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” is ridiculous and I hated it, but the fact is that it’s ridiculous and I loved every minute. …
Ty Burr, The Boston Globe
…sweet, silly, sun-splashed absurdity, with a thumping disco beat…
Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times
…The glee is industrial-strength, and the ABBA-fueled production numbers are so far over the top that the film is at once topless and chaste. Yet there’s a wellspring of genuine feeling in this time-hopping sequel, framed as an origin story. …
Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal
…never takes itself seriously: This time out, the joy is giddy but the sentiments are cloying; the musical scenes are mainly delightful, but quieter moments often fall flat.…
Kate Taylor, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
…“Here We Go Again” is a viewing experience best described as a long nap on the beach while staying at a chain resort. It’s extremely pleasant, if a little lacking in imagination, and every so often, a waiter comes by to refill your drink. …
David Sims, The Atlantic
…Something in the sheer relentless silliness and uncompromising ridiculousness of this, combined with a new flavour of self-aware comedy, made me smile in spite of myself…
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (UK)
…Ms. Streep’s near total absence leaves a hole Cher is expected to fill. It’s too little, way too late, of course, and because it’s Cher, it’s also too much. …
Wesley Morris, The New York Times
Comments from non-viewers
—I would never watch a movie with Meryl Streep in it. She’s a bad person who has no singing or dancing talents. …
My Ratings: Moral rating: / Moviemaking quality:
Sandy Osback, age 70 (USA)