Here I Go Again

Mamma Mia! – There’s been a trend in the last several years to create musicals out of the songs of a pop artist or band. I guess that way they don’t have to hire songwriters AND people are guaranteed to like the songs. Genius! They’re still doing this, by the way; I recently heard news of one centered around Spice Girls songs. The only problem is how to create a story out of a collection of songs with no particular connection or narrative. In this case it’s ABBA, who aren’t known for telling stories with their lyrics. So what do you do? Well, here, you apparently hire the cheapest writers you can find, who come up with some weak plot about a single mother (played in the film version by Meryl Streep) who runs a resort on a Greek island. Her daughter (Amanda Seyfried) is now twenty years old and getting married, and for some reason she’s determined to have her father attend the wedding. Since she doesn’t know who he is, she does what anyone with essential brain cells missing and a total lack of respect for her mom would do, and reads her diary and invites the three men she slept with around the right time. Because who wouldn’t want their wedding to turn into an episode of Maury Povich? Yeah, it’s pretty stupid, and the songs tend to have very little connection to what’s going on. Also, for a musical based on the hits of ABBA, there were some obvious omissions from the soundtrack. “Waterloo” was tacked on over the end credits, and “Fernando” wasn’t in it at all. The cast could sing (well, okay, Pierce Brosnan came across as a little weird in that respect, but still), but that’s pretty much all this movie had going for it.

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