I don't usually gush about movies. I love to watch movies (and I watch a LOT of them now, thanks to Netflix), but there are few that leave me gushing. "Mamma Mia!" is one about which I simply must gush.
I knew that I would enjoy it, because I enjoyed the musical. Also, I love ABBA's music! That's right--I said it. I love ABBA. However, when I planned to go see it with Mom on Saturday night, I had no idea that it would leave me feeling happy, giddy, and loving Meryl Streep even more than I already did.
Admit it. ABBA's music is fun and infectious. The actors interacted with each other playfully and looked like they were having pure unadulterated FUN dancing to and singing "Dancing Queen", "Mamma Mia", "Waterloo", and the rest of ABBA's iconic songs from the 70's. I found that to be incredibly endearing, especially regarding Meryl Streep. In addition to marveling at her acting skills, I have always admired her on a personal level. In spite of her success and status as one of the greatest actors of our time, she never takes herself too seriously or considers herself to be above accepting a minor role ( check out the Farrelly brothers' "Stuck On You"...she's not even credited!). She is as talented a comedic actress as she is a dramatic one. Her comedic delivery in "Mamma Mia!" is spot on. And she's just so cute, which might be an odd adjective with which to describe a 59-year-old woman, but it happens to be accurate here; she is girlish and youthful, but not in a contrived or put-on way. Another thing I like about her is that she allows herself to age gracefully. Yes, you can tell that she's not a thirty-something or even a forty-something woman anymore...but her natural beauty is far more beautiful than any "work" I've ever seen on any number of the synthetic-looking faces in Hollywood. And who knew that she could dance and sing!?!?
The dance numbers were fun and uplifting, especially the "Dancing Queen" number. The women and girls of the Greek village were dancing and skipping through the streets (led by Meryl's character, Donna, and her two best friends) singing at the tops of their lungs as they reminded themselves and each other that their free spirits still exist in spite of sometimes feeling covered up by life's responsibilities and burdens. I felt my heart swelling as I watched, and I wanted to watch that scene over and over again.
And you simply must love a movie in which Pierce Brosnan wears a polyester funky disco suit (think Earth Wind & Fire) as he dances to and sings "Waterloo". (HINT: Do NOT get up and leave when the credits start to roll. Stay and keep watching until the screen goes black)
I was actually tempted to suggest to Mom that we buy another ticket and watch the next show. I don't buy many DVDs, either...but "Mamma Mia!" is on my list.
I thought it was a beautiful, sweet, adorable, and fun movie, and I'm already eager to see it again.