Thursday, July 19, 2018

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (PG-13/1 hr. 54 min.)

From the moment I found out that Mamma Mia had a sequel, I’ve been not-so-patiently waiting for this film to come out.  But, I was dreading it at the same time.  Sequels are never as good as the original. To say I liked the original is a bit of an understatement.  I grew up listening to Abba.  They were my jam.  What?  I may have been born around the time they were really popular and I listened to what my parents listened to.  And they liked Abba.  We listened to them at home.  We listened to them on road trips.  So much so that on one particular trip, a friend of mine, who’d never really heard many Abba songs before, had the entire tape memorized by the time we drove from Oklahoma to Florida.  I still don’t understand why my parents didn’t throw the tape out the window after the first who-knows-how-many times.  All that to say, I was ready for this movie.  And it did not disappoint.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is mostly about Donna Sheridan and how she came to be the owner of a hotel on a little island in Greece while raising a daughter all by her lonesome.  I have so much more respect for Donna, having seen what she went through to get where she did.  That sounds way more dramatic than it was.  She did have bad times but she had so many good times as well.  Donna’s story is mixed in with several other little tales that make this movie so very worth the watch and the wait.  

If you’ve seen the trailers, you’re already privy to a certain special event mentioned in the film.  I really REALLY hate that they did that.  If you haven’t seen the trailers, I recommend not watching them.  Go be surprised the way I think everyone should have been.  I was impressed, though, that none of the trailers I saw gave away a huge part of the movie.  I won’t be telling you, either.
As soon as the movie started, I was transported to Greece and I did quite a bit of travelling along the way.  Except for just a few moments, I became part of the action.  I laughed with them.  I danced with them (not literally, people who know me).  I sang with them (under my breath.  I promise!).  I cried with them.  Oh, boy, did I cry!  We’ll talk about that a little later.  This movie grabbed hold and didn’t let go until the credits rolled.

Despite the conditions of the hotel in the first Mamma Mia!, I still wanted to go for a visit.  The hotel in the new film is beautiful.  My wanderer’s soul needs to see it in person.  The island called to me, as well.  You could be on your own for as long as you want and then go in to town when you feel like being sociable.  It’s almost perfect! 

There were so many people, in this film, that I want to talk about so I’m just going to jumble them all up together.  I can’t even begin to imagine who else could have played young Donna other than Lily James.  I still maintain that someone else, besides Meryl Streep should have been chosen to play older Donna but I can’t begin to tell you how emotional I got seeing her in this movie.  In a good way.  Meryl was not the main focus so she didn’t get as much play as I expected but I truly believe that the amount of screen time she was given, worked.  Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper were back as Sophie and Sky.  I still love them together.  And don’t get me started on how I feel about Cher.  There’s a reason why she’s been famous for as long as she has.  The woman has chops!  And she can sing, too!  I can’t think of any of the other main actors I would have replaced.  You could definitely see the older characters in their younger versions.  Of all these characters, who was my favorite?  None of them.  One person stole my heart and I want to meet her in real life.   Maria Vacratsis was a character whose name I can’t remember, if they even mentioned it, but who played a big role in the lives of a couple of the characters.  She runs the local bar.  She’s ornery.  She’s incredibly kind to those who deserve it.  She’s a fierce protector.  Do NOT mess with this woman.

Now, on to the music.  Oh, my goodness, the music!  As mentioned at the beginning of all this, I’m a bit of a fan of Abba.  When I heard about the sequel, I wondered what songs were going to be used this time around.  It was jam-packed!  Some of you may recall that music, in general, can make me a tad emotional.  I said that this movie grabbed me, right away.  It’s true but the music, along with the acting, took me on a roller coaster ride I’m still reeling from, one day later.  I couldn’t keep my feet still during the faster numbers, I got chills during some of the softer ballads, and a couple of songs nearly undid me altogether.  I counted around 27 songs, in all, but I can’t guarantee that number.  Two songs, in particular tore me up.  Having remembered that I was surrounded by lots of people and not wanting to embarrass my husband, I refrained from ugly crying.  But only just.  “I’ve Been Waiting for You” started it and “My Love, My Life” sealed it.  I really hope this affects other people the way it did me.

If you haven’t seen Mamma Mia!, rent it before you see Mamma Mia!  Here We Go Again.  You really need it to be able to properly appreciate the sequel.  If you have seen Mamma Mia!, consider yourself warned.  While there was the drama of “whose is she?” in the original, the sequel is quite a bit more somber.  It’s still an entertaining movie but in a completely different way.  As soon as it was over, I told Mr. Man that I wanted to see it again.  Right then.  And then again and again.  I highly recommend this movie.  It’s a great summer film and if at least one or 20-something of the songs isn’t nominated for an award, I will be greatly disappointed. 

P.S.  There is a little something after the credits.  

P.P.S.  I wore this shirt to the movie, not knowing the coincidence of doing so.  When you watch the movie you’ll understand why I got a good chuckle out of it.  If you happen to remember what it says.  Thank you, and good day.

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