Saturday, July 26, 2008

The problem with Mama Mia... that it's a musical, but the movie-star cast can't sing. Or dance. Or even, mostly, act. So it's pretty much a two hour spot for the Greek Tourism Board.

Whoever thought 007 should even try to sing, dance, or act, well, I hope they are as embarrassed as I was watching him.
I give the movie one star, which goes mostly to Meryl Streep (one ray to be shared between Stellan Skarsgard and Julie Walters).

It made me want to see again the other ABBA movie: Muriel's Wedding (Australia, 1994), which used ABBA's pure pop melodies as a backdrop for a story of despair, real ugliness, and, whew, thank God, finally transformation, and pulled it off.

The twenty-one-year-old Toni Collette, right, (who in 2006 so perfectly played the mother in Little Miss Sunshine), is astonishing as the fat girl Muriel so desperate for love she will sell herself out, who finally gains some dignity. And she acts without showing it.
That's one thing about Meryl Streep's acting I'm not keen about--when I watch her act, I too often think, "Oh, well done!" It's no different in Mama Mia, except that this time I also felt grateful to her.


Matt_J said...

Right on-- Muriel's Wedding is the true ABBA movie and kudos to Toni Collette.

fresca said...

There ya go. That's the word from Sweden.
Thanks for backing me up, Matt.

momo said...

If I hadn't seen the stage show, I wouldn't have enjoyed the movie at all, but I enjoyed the vision of a Greek island, and the tried and true elements of farce.
Must see Muriel's Wedding again, because I love Toni Colette.

fresca said...

I should have added, I can really see why people WOULD like the movie: I mean, the Greek Tourism Board has a pretty good product! And I grant the cast was big-hearted--there's nothing mean or stingy about it. My neighbor loved it and keeps singing today, so I bet I'm not in the majority.

ddip said...

Ah, now you don't have to read Anthony Lane's review in the New Yorker!

fresca said...

Heh, heh, Very gratifying when reviewers agree with you--I loved that Lane said the same things I said.
But then I see David Denby disagreed about "The Dark Knight," so in that case I dismiss the reviewer.
In fact, I often don't enjoy Denby, which is one reason I didn't mind letting my subscription lapse.

movie mia said...

this is one of the few plays i've actually seen, which ended up being great... it's funny to think of ol' Pierce taking a stab at singing, yeeesh