Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Top Ten Things I learned from Mamma Mia!

Finally got the chance to check out Mamma Mia! this weekend,and it was everything I thought it would be;sweet,silly and a flat out good time. Some people,of course,insist on finding fault with the film and their chief complaint is that most of the actors in the cast don't have the best singing voices in the business.

Well,duh to the tenth power! The whole point of this musical is not to show off your vocal chops,but to be able to use the ABBA songbook to convey the cheesy storyline convincingly. There are a couple of professional singers in the mix(particularly Christine Baranski,who really camps it up here)but in terms of musical prowess,it's strictly a decent amateur hour or two.

What the actors lack in singing talent,they more than make up for it in nuance. Meryl Streep(who is never given credit for being a real trouper in less than super serious films)has to hold up her end as Donna,the mother of the bride who winds up being confronted with the ghosts of lovers past and she does it amazingly well.

Listen to how she sings "The Winner Takes It All" to long lost true love Sam(Pierce Brosnan)and turns the tune into a poignant monologue about romantic regrets. She plays that pop song like a speech out of Shakespeare and it's stunning:

Mainly,Mamma Mia is your typical romantic comedy of errors and everyone hits their marks beautifully. Amanda Seyfried is charming as Sophie,the bride to be who sets up the "Who's My Daddy?" shenanigans and she carries a tune well enough. As with a number of these "let's put on a show" musicals,the people who have the weaker voices get the least amount of singing time(I adore Colin Firth but the man's just not a lead singer type of guy). All in all,this movie is a toe tappin' good time and it helps a lot if you enjoy the music of ABBA.

Without further delay,here are the Top Ten things that I learned from watching Mamma Mia!:

10) Little boys who play with fire get their fingers burned:

9) When you are in the midst of romantic entanglements and mistaken identities,having an island of Greek chorus members comes in handy.

8) It's not a good idea to keep using the same tune as "our song" with more than one of your boyfriends:

7) Bagpipes are supposed to ward off unexpected visitors,not that some people need the help.

6) Inviting three of your mother's old boyfriends to your wedding to see which one of them is your father is not a sound scientific method.

5) A good way to get a gloomy gal pal out of the bathroom is by serenading her with "Chiquitita":

4) Always know how to make an entrance:

3) Two lone wolves can take a chance on each other together.

2) Shame to put a good wedding to waste!

1) Knowing who you are doesn't come from finding your father,it comes from finding yourself:

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