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Mamma Mia: The Sing-Along Edition
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Reviewed on 2008-08-29
Received[3.5]  out of 4 stars
GenreComedy / Musical / Romance
There is nothing better than taking another bite out of a delicious apple. A similar entertaining treat worth savoring is to revisit this worldwide smash hit musical classic. The audience turns into a collective chorus of karaoke (combination of two Japanese words meaning empty orchestra) singers as the lyrics appear in large royal blue capital letters that turn honey gold at the bottom of the screen. You can even dance and jive in the aisles to the tunes of iconic Swedish quartet ABBA. The uplifting euphoria of group dynamics is a sensory experience that is impossible to duplicate. You will even feel like an integral part of the cast this time around. The familiar favorite songs that you can clap and sing-along include “Dancing Queen”, “S.O.S.”, “Money, Money, Money”’ “Take a Chance on Me” and “Lay All Your Love on Me.” The “Mamma Mia” soundtrack is currently residing at #1 on “Billboard’s” Top 200 album chart.

The simple story revolves around a wedding on a remote Greek island. Sophie (Amanda Seyfried from “Mean Girls” and HBO’s “Big Love”), age 20, has been raised by her single mother Donna (Meryl Streep). She wants her biological dad to walk her down the aisle when she marries Sky (Dominic Cooper). After reading her mother’s diary, she sends wedding invitations to Sam (Pierce Brosnan best known as James Bond 007), Harry (Colin Firth) and Bill (Stellan Skarsgard). All three men had summer flings with Donna. Donna had a hippy lifestyle before she became pregnant. She would sleep all day and party all night. She played the guitar and was the lead singer in the female rock band Donna and the Dynamos. Donna’s band mates and best gal pals are Rosie (Julie Walters best known as Mrs. Weasley from the “Harry Potter” movies)) and Tanya (Christine Baranski). All three possible fathers and the two women confidantes arrive the day before the nuptials. This guilty pleasure is the feel good movie of the summer.

The screenplay does a masterful job of incorporating these tremendous, upbeat, toe-tapping tunes into the story. The production numbers feature impeccably-timed choreography, glitzy costumes and effective usage of props. The movie has a light and frothy tone. It proceeds at a quick pace. Streep is fabulous in the lead role. Her amazing versatility proves why she deserves recognition as one of America’s greatest actresses. She holds the record for most Oscar nominations (15). Walters is hysterically funny and steals every scene that she appears in. Streep and Seyfried were perfectly cast as mother and daughter. They have an uncanny similarity in looks, personality and physical mannerisms. The luscious scenery is a feast for the eyes. The enthusiastic and energetic vibes will put you in a festive mood. The razzle dazzle on display will make you laugh so hard that it may also bring tears of joy. The movie has a surprise twist ending. Be sure to stay for the entertaining cabaret encore that plays over the end credits. The special sing-along edition is now playing exclusively in Johnson County at AMC Town Center 20 in Leawood.

Review By:
Keith Cohen, "The Movie Guy"


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