This month marks 8 years since the movie adaptation of Mamma Mia! came out in theaters, but I first saw it on DVD in 2009 when my mom brought home a copy from a friend of hers, and then I bought a copy myself as a gift for my 30th birthday in 2013. Then later for Christmas 2013, I bought the soundtrack for both the movie and the musical, then the 2-Disc Special Edition for my 31st birthday in 2014 (it includes a bonus DVD with more bonus material), and then for Christmas 2014 I bought a copy of a separate Special Bonus Disc with even more bonus material! (Apparently, the movie's great, the bonus material is even better). I'll review the bonus stuff at a later date. Right now, I shall review the movie and the musical from which it is based.
The musical itself came out in 1999 in London, and is based on ABBA's music. I first saw it on a Vegas trip in 2014, after an invite from my sis and her hubby. When I was flying high over Vegas, her hubby asked me if there was anything that interested me besides gambling (I did win a few bucks on the slots, BTW). I told him I saw the Mamma Mia! banner on the Tropicana, and it caught eye, so he decided to buy tickets for it, since I was anxious to see it after watching the movie several times (I'll review that next), and listening to the musical soundtrack as well (apparently, this is based on the original London production, each country's production has its own soundtrack as you may imagine).
Since most everyone's seen it, I don't want to go into detail on the plot or the 22 ABBA tunes you'll hear (I don't know anyone who's not into ABBA's music, and at this point, I don't want to know; it would shock me if someone told me that they've never heard ABBA's music or are not a fan of ABBA and their music). The best part is the "Finale" where everyone in the audience is on their feet clapping and singing along to the reprises of three of the songs: The title song (which most should know), "Dancing Queen" (the signature song that just about everyone should know; if you don't, I am gonna be pissed). and "Waterloo". FYI, the song that plays when everyone takes their final bows is an instrumental version of "Does Your Mother Know". The "Prologue", for those curious, is a montage of instrumental versions of ABBA's hits that leads into one of the songs, "I Have a Dream", which plays twice. The first time is when Sophie sends her wedding invitations to Sam Carmichael, Bill Austen, and Harry Bright, the three possible dads. The outro after the "Finale" is a short version of the instrumental version of "Dancing Queen".
Now, for the movie. It plays like the musical, and Meryl Streep is dazzling as Donna. Pierce Brosnan does great as Sam, and then-newcomer Amanda Seyfried is marvelous as Sophie. The soundtrack lacks three songs you'll find in the movie: "Chiquitita", "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do", and "Waterloo" (the last "Finale" song), and uses "Thank You for the Music" (the end credits song sung by Sophie) as a hidden track. The movie was rated PG-13 for possible smoking scenes (which I don't think I noticed in the numerous times I saw the movie; I was too busy singing and dancing away just like any other ABBA fan to notice).
All in all, I have to give each 4 out of 5. There are some people who say this isn't a family-friendly musical and it's not suitable for kids, and it's those comments that make me take off a whole star. Honestly, the ABBA tunes are going to overshadow just about everything...'and those picky ones are gonna say that a musical chock-full of ABBA tunes is NOT FAMILY-FRIENDLY?! GIVE (1) ME (2) A (3) BREAK! (4)