Mamma Mia!

Release Date: July 18, 2008

Movie of the Day for Friday, July 11, 2008
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They're a little large to be jumping on the bed.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
50/52 Sean Collier Pierce Brosnan sings. Any questions?
126/196 Max Braden This has to be the most tone deaf musical in years, saved only by ABBA's infectious music. Amanda Seyfried is pretty adorable..

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I'm guessing that a majority of the people who read this site weren't even a twinkle in their daddy's eyes when ABBA was in its heyday. For those of you who are saying, "What the hell is an ABBA and why should I care about it?", perhaps some explanation is in order.

ABBA, in the years between 1972 and 1982, was a musical supergroup born out of Sweden. The name is actually an acronym of the founding members of the group - Agnetha, Björn, Benny, Anni-Frid. Their songs topped the charts frequently, and they became a mainstay of the disco movement. Their best known hits included Waterloo, SOS, Fernando, Dancing Queen and Take a Chance on Me (my personal favorite). They've sold more than 370 million records worldwide, and eventually that popularity led to a musical based on their songs, named Mamma Mia! after one of their hits. It was nominated for numerous Tony Awards, and now, with Hollywood mining some of Broadway's biggest hits for movie adaptations, it has been adapted into a film. And the fans will almost certainly follow.

The movie itself tells the story of Donna (Meryl Streep) an independent, spirited woman who is a single mother and owner of a small hotel on a lovely Greek Island. Her daughter, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried of Veronica Mars) is preparing to get married, and Donna has invited her two best friends to attend. Rosie (Julie Walters) and Tanya (Christine Baranski) were once members of Donna's band, Donna and the Dynamos. Their reunion promises to be glorious and full of fun.

What Donna does not realize is that Sophie has secretly invited three guests of her own. She has never known her father, and is hoping she might have him walk her down the aisle. To that end, she invites three men from Donna's past to return to the Mediterranean paradise where they visited 20 years ago. Not coincidentally, this just happens to be when Sophie was conceived. Love will blossom, friendships will ignite and weddings will be planned. And the cast will sing, sing, sing. Hopefully, the Grinch will be nowhere in the vicinity.

Along with Streep, Seyfried, Walters and Baranski, the cast also features Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård and Dominic Cooper. The original writers, Judy Craymer and Catherine Johnson have handled the screenplay, and stage director Phyllida Lloyd is on hand for helming duties.

This would seem to be a movie with an extremely targeted audience, but Universal has done an amazing job of marketing it to a broader group. Trailers and featurettes are extremely appealing and full of life, and everything points to this being a solid counter-programming option as it opens against the violent, more testosterone-friendly The Dark Knight. Mamma Mia! should perform remarkably worldwide as well, with devotees of both the band and the musical itself having wide-ranging roots. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Mamma Mia!
Main Cast Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth
Supporting Cast Stellan Skarsgard, Julie Walters, Dominic Cooper, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski
Director Phyllida Lloyd
Screenwriter Catherine Johnson
Distributor Universal
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating PG-13
Screen Count 2,976
Awards Awards page for Mamma Mia!
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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