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Mamma Mia! (DVD)
Member Name: Ainat
Mamma Mia! (DVD)
Date: 23/10/12, updated on 13/01/14 (75 review reads)
Advantages: Hilarious, feel good film that you can sing along to!
Disadvantages: Not the strongest plot in the world
Main actors - Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgard, Colin Firth
Certificate - PG
Running Time - 108 minutes
Genre - Musical, Romantic Comedy
The film version of the stage musical Mamma Mia has been out a few years now, since 2008. When it came out there were really mixed reviews, and I wasn't sure whether to watch the film or not. A few months after its DVD release I was finally convinced to buy the film after a friend of mine ranted and raved about it so much and told me I 'HAD' to see it! So I decided to buy the film to form my own opinion of it.
=== Short Plot Summary ===
Sophie grew up on a Greek island with her mum Donna. Now she is 20 and is getting married. She wants her father to walk her down the aisle. The only problem being she doesn't know who her father is. after reading her mum's old diaries she has discovered there are three men that could possibly be her father. She invites all three to her wedding (under Donna's name) thinking that when she meets these men she would know instantly which one her father was. From here the plot thickens (dot dot dot...)
Ok, so I'll admit the storyline isn't the strongest I've come across in film. What it is though is a lovely sweet little story with a real feel good factor to it. The story was written after the ABBA songs, so has been built around the music (a little vaguely at times).
=== Acting ===
Meryl Streep is amazing as Donna in this film. The film does give her chance to show off some talent that I didn't even know she had prior to this movie. She does all her own singing in the film (all the actors do), but it really lets us see another side to her. Especially as this came out only a couple of years after The Devil Wears Prada in which she plays such a serious character for the most part.
The 'dads' are also surprising. James Bond man Pierce Brosnan again is in a completely different role from what I've seen him in before. Actually, the same can be said for Colin Firth too. Both men really let us see their comedy side. You can see they are really having fun with the parts they are playing. Stellan Skarsgard also does a good job as dad number three, but I can't really compare him to any of his other roles (even though he's in a number of films that I feel I should have seen... Good Will Hunting, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo...).
Amanda Seyfried does an ok job as Sophie, but she doesn't stand out as much as the actors I've mentioned above. I think she needs the others there to enhance her acting. I feel as though the same could be said for Dominic Cooper who plays Sky, Sophie's fiance. Although the odd scene where it is just them does have a chemistry about it, you can believe they are truly in love.
Others worth mentioning are Julie Walters - can't really dance or sing, but is hilarious. It's possible to tell she's really enjoying the part. Christine Baranski makes up the other half of this comedic duo, and again is another hilarious character.
Benny and Bjorn also make an appearance in the film - though I don't believe they aren't actually credited.
=== Extras ===
On the DVD there are a number of extras on the disc. I have watched most of them over the time I've owned the DVD.
Firstly, and most importantly (especially if you're having a girly movie night in with a load of mates and a few glasses of wine) there is the sing along version of the film. Basically, you play the DVD as normal, but with this feature the words to the songs appear on screen when the songs are on for you to sing along to.
Deleted scenes - there are approx 8 mins of deleted scenes. To be honest, with the majority of them it is easy to see why they decided to cut them out. Not the best feature on the disc.
Another feature on the disc (separate on the menu) is a deleted musical number - The Name of the Game. Worth a watch, but again can see why it was this song that was taken out over any others.
Out-takes - A couple of minutes of out-takes, most of which are hilarious and worth watching.
Anatomy of a musical number - worth a watch if you like finding out how things are made. They break down 'Lay All Your Love on Me' and tell you a little bit about how the filming was done for the scene, etc.
Other extras include 'Becoming a Singer', which follows Benny working with the actors. He wanted to have a degree of control over how the final product sounded, and this shows how he worked with the actors and how the songs were recorded. This is about 11 minutes, but worth a watch if you find that kind of thing interesting.
There are other extras on the disc that I've not had chance to really look at yet. One that I do want to watch at some point is 'The Making of Mamma Mia'. I find these kinds of things interesting. I imagine though that this will take some time to watch as it is split into a further three parts. You also have the option of watching the film with directors commentary (again something I do do with films occasionally, so may use this feature at some point).
=== Mamma Mia! Here I go again.. My my, how can I resist you? ===
So would I recommend the film? Yes. I would. If you're after a light hearted romantic comedy with a load of well known ABBA songs for you to sing along to, this is perfect! Not the strongest plot in the world, but a real feel good movie. It is just a fun film to watch.
I'm going to give the film 4 stars. One star being dropped for the fact the plot isn't that strong. But it certainly deserves the other 4.
Summary: Definitely worth a watch.