If there were a family get-together with all the slick, recent Broadway-to-film productions, like Hairspray and Dreamgirls, Mamma Mia!
If there were a family get-together with all the slick, recent Broadway-to-film productions, like Hairspray and Dreamgirls, Mamma Mia! would be the drunk older aunt whose clothing doesn't really match and who says all the wrong things but you love her and her kooky, off-kilter self anyway. The movie is, like that aunt, all over the place: Only a third of the cast can actually sing, the plot is thin, and the characters are — with the exception of a few moments — as one-dimensional as it gets. Oh, and there are hardly three minutes between one ABBA cover and the next.
In place of the large-scale choreographed dance productions of other musicals, Mamma Mia! chooses to go heavy on stuff like arms waving in the air, frolicking through streets, and bed bouncing. It has all the girlish exuberance of a slumber party, the sweaty debauchery of a bachelorette party, and the spectacle of a big fat Greek wedding. The movie — and all the actors in it — so unabashedly embrace a spirit of innocence and joy that it's hard to imagine a more perfect form of escapism.
To see why, despite filming in a stunning sun-drenched location, the cast is the real reason this summer movie shimmers, read more