“I’ve been cheated by you, Meryl Streep”

I love Meryl Streep.  I love ABBA.  I love musicals.  I secretly love cinema visits where singing along is positively encouraged.  In essence, I AM the target demographic for the Mamma Mia film.  So why did I walk out of Cineworld this evening like I was suffering from shell-shock?

Suspending disbelief is not an issue for me, I can happily accept people bursting into song left, right and centre.  This was just utter tripe, like a Comic Relief sketch gone on 90 minutes too long.  Darlings, I adore a bit of hamming it up as much as the next musical-loving homo, but this was like a really bad pantomime.   At one point, I snarked to Kaite that the woman pouting to Money, Money, Money was the most Oscar-nominated actress of all time.   Sure, after decades of frosty heartbreak, maybe Meryl’s entitled to blow off some acting steam but holy mother of crap I cringed so hard for the first hour that I now have cramp in my shoulders.

This wasn’t a good film, not even a ‘feelgood blockbuster’.  This was like your watching your mum (and her drunken friends) hammer the karaoke.  I hate the premise, the book is amateur crap.  I may not be any kind of a real writer, but this cliché-ridden claptrap is up there with the play I wrote at nine years old, in which ‘naughty’ teenagers get drunk on Babycham.

Not entirely without merit I suppose, Christine Baranski was underused but completely nailed ‘Does Your Mother Know’.  The ‘oops, how do we fit in Waterloo’ non-problem (by remembering it’s not about the actual Battle of Waterloo, duh) was solved by the faux-music video bit over the credits.  Had it just been the bit at the start of the credits, I might have felt it was worth the ticket price.  It might have been when you factor in Colin Firth frolicking like he was at a G-A-Y foam party, but it was really beyond redemption at that point. 

Oh I know, what kind of misery guts criticises a film which is basically a fluff piece?  It’s just that I like talented people doing stupid things for a laugh – for example the splendiferous Judi Dench doing a spoof of “I Am Sixteen, Going On Seventeen”.  This was just a waste.  Meryl almost pulled it out of the mire by attacking “The Winner Takes It All” like the pro that she is.  It wasn’t enough though, and anything that makes me question Pierce Brosnan’s sheer awesomeness is best left alone. 



7 responses to ““I’ve been cheated by you, Meryl Streep”

  1. I absolutely loathe Abba – I may only know “the singles”, but those are trite crap written for women to dance to at weddings. So while I wasn’t looking forward to taking my Meryl Streep/Pierce Brosnan fangirl mother to see the movie as it was, I’m now positively dreading it.

    I’m not a fan of this writing musicals based around the songs of an existing artist – do they change the lyrics to make them, yannow, actually fit with the story? Because it sounds like a ploy to make money out of hen parties booking trips to London otherwise.

    Not that I’ve seen the movie or the musical, so I really have no right to comment.

  2. wow. what a review. Gf and I will try to catch it next weekend (because it always takes a little until they show movies here). I’m curious if I hate it as much as you do…

  3. I think I’m mostly just annoyed that I thought it would be a great laugh, and then it turned out to all feel a bit too… amateur? You may still enjoy it if you’re not as mean-spirited as I am!

  4. Pingback: “It feels like I’m shitting a knife” « Eight shows a week, two matinées

  5. I was starting to believe I was only person that felt that way about Mamma Mia… I love musicals, and Meryl Streep I love you (specially in Music of the Heart) but it just left me feeling cold.

    Ah well, love the blog tho x

  6. I’ve just started watching the film and as someone who sniffs out any musical going and, in addition, is a big Abba appreciater I should be top of the list of its admirers. I’ve just switched it off before even getting halfway through. It is completely unwatchable.

  7. Hey there Princess Gracie, I loved Music of the Heart too – even though the story was pretty obvious, Meryl just took it to another level entirely. Didn’t happen here I’m afraid!

    And albiococca, I totally agree – at least five times I was ready to get up and walk out, and I *never* do that at the cinema!

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