Better than a "glittering, Doris Day-Rock Hudson extravaganza"
The beginning of the week I read on George Szirtez' blog this breathless paean of the new ABBA musical movie "Mamma Mia". I just managed to suffer the flamboyant review to its end out of my genuine respect for GS. But for all the critic's expostulations, I ended up feeling much like the blogger: sceptical, untempted.
Then later in the week came Norm Geras's genial report, urging "take a chance".
So I did. How bad could it be? And anyway, what else was there for me and husband to do on a Saturday night? Blog?
The theatre was packed with youngish middle aged persons, giddy with some sort of notalgic excitement. It was quite contagious. At the end people were cheering and clapping, smiling. From opening moment to its end, it was a lovable, happy film.
I read some of the withering reviews of the film. I wouldn't give them a second's consideration. Anyone who cannot respond to this silly gorgeous and exuberant movie in kind is just an old fuddy-duddy, a stick in the mud, a wet blanket, a refuser of festivities, a party pooper.
Venerable actors, trailing great careers and dramatic roles behind them have come together to create this romp. The humour is basic, bubbly and actually funny. I did not cringe even once. Not even at the sight of Stellan Skarsgård's sturdy buns... Once you enter the spirit of this souffle, this tiramisu, if you cringe you forfeit your right to take even a bite of it...
Remember the scene in "My Best friend's wedding", when an entire family sitting down to a wedding rehearsal dinner join together in the song "I say a little prayer for you"? Did you feel that was simply the best part, the heart, the very motor of that movie, because it was so well entered into, in spirit and friendship, and acted, bad voices and all? Well, if you loved that scene, you will love "Mamma Mia".
Don't walk. Run to see it. Once you have seen Meryl Streep gyrating suggestively to music and Pierce Brosnan singing, in his raspy James Bond voice "we are not too old for sex", you will forgive yourself for any awkward slip of the tongue or stupid behaviour you ever indulged in. Better, you will take pride in it...