Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mama Mia the Movie!

The electrifying element that entices audiences to watch Mama Mia stems from a deftly crafted story built on the musical appeal of Abba's songs. The 22 selected songs of this Swedish pop group, active between 1972 to 1982, have been woven into a simple tale with tremendous potential for awkward circumstances and embarrassing moments that can be mined for hilarity and ridiculous conviviality. But the star is undoubtedly Abba.

The plot is centered around Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried), an 18 year old teenager about to get married but remains unaware of who her father is. After reading her mother's (Meryl Streep) diary, she invites 3 men from her mother's past back to the Greek island paradise they last visited 20 years ago, to satisfy her quest for the identity of her real father. This puts her mother in a very discomforting dilemma. Surely, a request for blood samples for DNA testing wouldn't be as funny nor eventful; and the romantic rusticity of Abba's songs wouldn't include anything remotely clinical. The film version of this musical, which was first staged in 1999, has become one of the most successful musicals of all time; and the film stars are compelled to perform the songs in the movie. Actors were terrified singing in front of Abba, but were complimented by the band members for their rendition. Meryl Streep, who performed in school musicals, including Oklahoma during her younger days, welcomed the challenge to return to her first love. Being over 50, it would be interesting to hear if age has not caught up with her inactive singing talent that was last heard more than 35 years ago; where even Abba's "Dancing Queen" would be quite formidable to perform.

Abba is an acronym from the first letters of the group's members: A-Agnetha, B-Bjorn, B-Benny, A- Anni-Frid. The group received immense popularity employing catchy song hooks, simple lyrics, and a wall of sound achieved by overdubbing the female singers' voices in multiple harmonies. They have sold over 400 million records and continue to sell 2 to 3 million records a year. Songwriters Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus were initially reluctant about the Musical, but were later convinced by the producers. When they were broached with the idea of a movie, there was no longer any hesitation. Both are surprised at the continued popularity of their songs which they believed ended in the mid 80's.

The story may not fully explain why Sophie's mother never sought the real father, nor if these 3 gentlemen from her past ever married, had children, are divorced, or widowers. Most importantly, why none of them married her - perhaps because she was such a cheat - cavorting with 3 men at the same time. She really duped 3 men out of their pants and into her most powerful ovulating moments. Or, she could have refused to see them again preferring instead to live with the memories of a magnificent period, rather than living through the emotional difficulties of a disintegrating relationship.

Well... this is the real story: two of these men were, and still are, sterile, and she just didn't want to know who they were.



Zhu said...

I saw the trailer and yeah, I don't mind a bit of Abba (the stuck is actually stuck in my head right now!) so I'll probably go see the movie ;)

Kim said...

I love Meryl Streep..
she's out in Australia now with Colin Firth...
definitely on my must see list with my daughter :)
great post Durano !!!

The Fitness Diva said...

It's like an episode of one of The Maury Povich Show's "who's the daddy?" episodes, dressed and glossed up, replaced with really pretty people and set to music! lol

I have always wondered how they would handle the fact that this woman had to have slept with three different men within a very short time, while maintaining her some type of dignity regarding the situation! I mean, we ARE still in a world that lives by the double standard! A man doing that is a clever rascal, but a woman.....?
You know what people usually say! Musicals aside, in most places other than the stage, this woman would be called all manner of unsavory names!

I think it's hilarious that all you need to glamorize a situation is to put music to it and put it in a movie or on the Broadway stage!
Bravo! lol

Anyhow, I'd go see it, but I am one that really cannot sit all the way through a musical. People bursting into song in the middle of an emotional moment or situation just never made any sense to me...
I actually get a little annoyed at the abrupt interruption of the story! lol
The film will probably do very well, though! We'll soon see...

Jenaisle said...

As usual very well written post. You aren't Henares by any chance? Reincarnated...(grins).

I enjoyed reading the article. The way you wrote it makes it very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Kathy said...

Okay I am in well written or not, it has Colin Firth serious eye candy in my book. I show up for him reading a library book. I know it shows I am so shallow ;D

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Zhu,

I going to watch the film because of Meryl Streep, I like the songs of Abba, but not all. Some are tacky and others mushy. But I like the sound they created with the harmonies they overdub. :-) -- Duran, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hello Kim,

Yes, I believe they are in Australia to promote the movie.

My kids and I are going to see it together too! Have a nice time watching and I hope the explanations about Meryl's role are far better than what I imagined these to be. LOL!:-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Fitness Diva,

You're right. It's like one of those not so real reality show episodes where they expose everybody for the entertainment of those watching.

This time however, it's not a shouting match but a bucketful of situations and romantic episodes of rekindling the past.

In a way it's trivializing a scandalous affair by making it a romance and nostalgia trip set into music. As far as musicals are concerned, I've always enjoyed these despite the fact, as you say, they break out into a song in the middle of a scene. There are instances where it can be distracting.

Like you, I will still see it though. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Jenaisle,

No, I'm not Henares, sorry. If I were him, I wouldn't reincarnate at a time like this when the world is so mixed up.

Thanks for the kind words. Glad you liked it and it's my pleasure to share, always. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

HI Kathy,


A big fan and a huge crush on Colin Firth eh? Yes, he does have a deeply rooted charm about him, something totally different from other English actors.

He is still underrated but he will go far, i know it. Thanks for dropping by. Do come again. :-) --Durano, done!

Kathy said...

oh my eye candy following is deeper and longer than Colin! I am a big fan of Richard Armitage, Alan Rickman, etc. You name a terribly left wing socialistic actor from the UK that looks good in pants and I melt. It is my weakness, I have to seperate my eye candy from my politics!

Plot is nothing if it has some good eye candy!

Artbeat said...

Nice one Durano and well written as usual, I must be one of the 3million who still buy their music. I bought a best of ABBA double CD last month. Seems to date me a bit but I don't mind as I still enjoy their music.

I have not seen any news of the movie release here but will try and make an effort to see it.

Jena Isle said...

hi Durano, I hope you'll enjoy your vacation. Cheers.

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Caroline,

By this time I guess you've seen the movie. I hoped you liked it together with the memories that ABBA songs could bring.

Sorry for this very late response as I am in a place where there is no electricity. This is coming via a CD which our home office secretary will receive and retype to be sent to my readers. But we do get a window into the internet when we are at the Capital city of this country, even if the power supply is intermittent and so many are lined up on the dial-up internet service. I just take a quick view and then make notes. Then, go to a computer to encode responses and posts (hopefully) on a CD. Thanks for the visit. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Kathy,

Eye candy. That's a new one for me to describe such things. I'll keep that in mind.

There are lots of upcoming eye candies among the younger actors, anyone of them meet your taste?
:-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi jenaisle,

Believe me, this is no vacation and this is definitely not a vacation spot I would recommend. Unless of course the parties concerned have a thing for the morbid or the macabre! Ha ha ha. :-) --Durano, done!

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