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Things I Hate #87: Mamma Mia!

I just saw Mamma Mia!.

Maybe if you punch me in the balls Ill wake up and still be James Bond.

Maybe if you punch me in the balls I'll wake up and still be James Bond.

Wow. First of all, Pierce Brosnan should not sing. Ever. None of the main characters, with the exception of Meryl Streep, is even mediocre (they average about three lines per song before background singers bail them out), but his voice is like dragging an asthmatic cat across a blackboard. I spent a lot of this movie chuckling snidely, but the only times I actually laughed out loud were when I could tell Pierce was about to open his mouth.

And by the way, why is the exclamation point there? Is it just to force people to type sentences like, “I just saw Momma Mia!”? Well, I called your bluff, Universal. I only wish there was a punctuation mark that was the opposite of the exclamation point. A period just doesn’t do this movie justice.

To be fair, calling it a “movie” is a little misleading. The plot is borderline nonexistent, and by the end I still hadn’t caught all the main character’s names: that’s how little dialogue there is. It’s the flimsiest possible pretext for doing 90 minutes of ABBA songs in 108 minutes. There are three additional songs in the credits, just in case you hadn’t gotten enough ABBA yet. And there’s a reason those guys only topped the charts in Sweden. So this wasn’t the worst two hours of my life, but only because I’ve had dental surgery.

Critical and popular reaction to Mamma Mia! seems to be mixed; some reviewers point out the sketchy plot, lackluster singing, poor character development, and the winning combination of breakneck pacing with interminable length, while others highlight the OMG I’M 15 AND I LOOOOOVE ABBA! The movie rates a 6.7 at IMDb; that’s right: among people who are willing to watch Mamma Mia!, it gets three stars.

Which I guess brings me to the biggest problem with the film. The only people who will even be able to tolerate it are rabid ABBA fans. And if that’s your rationale for watching it, why not just listen to the music in the first place? The only way for a normal person to get through this movie is by drinking heavily. Don’t start at the beginning, though; you’ll want to be good and liquored up in time for the first scene.

Fuck you, Mamma Mia!.

8 comments to Things I Hate #87: Mamma Mia!

  • Luce

    Whew, and here I was despairing that I seem to be the only one who hated this vapid, idiotic film. Mamma Mia (I omit their pointless puncuation) acts out in painful detail every narcissitic excuse for self-spectacle and a few I hadn’t even thought of previously.
    It’s the kind of stupid film which actually IS bad for people. It effectively validates and perpetuates a wholesale disregard of local culture or thoughtful reasonable social behaviour. It is about nothiing more or less than a gang of self-obssessed rich children playing on someone else’s beach, indulging every whim and caprice without the slightest regard for others or their local environment.
    Eeeeeesh, I feel like I’ve been wiped down with an oily cloth. Eeeeew.
    This film zooms to new #1 on my Most Hated Films list.

  • Tayler

    I hated this movie the minute my aunt watched it,I got bored from the first few minutes I think the real reason is that no one could sing or act the whole movie I feel like I could see the teleprompter in front of them the songs were random as how we leave one song to randomly go to another and that song had no premise for what just happened before

  • Me

    The reason I don’t like Mamma Mia is the concept. Why would you want some man you barely know to walk you down the aisle? I don’t care if he is your biological father, sometimes I think our society still puts too much emphasis on biological parents always being the most important, even when they’re not part of your life.
    P.S. This is slightly off the subject I know, but there are also people who don’t like ANY bride being walked down the aisle because it makes them supposedly seem like “property.” However, grooms can also be escorted in this way, an Orthodox Jewish tradition is for the bride and groom to both be walked down the aisle by both parents.

    • Elizabeth Carson-Bird

      Amen! And the whole cast has to sing about finding this chick’s “real” dad. This is a story line for a tragedy. And, how does ABAB music fit into this stupid movie? Everything about Mama Mia is a mismatch. Now in 2018 there is Mama Mia II — it was bad enough with the middle-aged cast trying to act 20 — now we have emerging geriatrics trying to be what — who knows, haven’t seen this latest Mama Mia.

  • Anne

    Thank God other people feel the same way about this movie. I have nothing against Abba songs, but should they be strung together into a flimsy plot? No. Meryl Streep was too old for the role, doesn’t sing that well, and played a character who was not very sympathetic. Amanda Seyfried brings all the charm she can muster (which is a lot, to be fair), but as someone else said….who cares? The three would-be fathers/lovers are cardboard. And do I care about Donna’s lingering attachment to Pierce Brosnan’s character? NO. UGH. And now they are making a sequel? No thanks. Lily James is wearing punky hair and attire, so I guess her ill-advised adventure in unprotected sex with multiple partners in a two-week period is supposed to be fierce or something. No. Stupid movie, stupid sequel.

  • Matt

    This movie sucked so much that it registered on the Fujita scale. I only saw it once and the only way I’d see it again or the sequel is if there were three silhouettes in the corner of the screen.

  • Craig

    I saw the live version of the musical (before the movie was made) and thought it was one of the dumbest musicals ever. The plot is so paper thin and wreaked so much of teenage love that I thought it must have been written by a 12 year old girl. The performers were only so-so, which made it even worse. Just taking a bunch of well known songs, stringing them together with a sophomoric plot and calling it a “musical” is such a cheap way to go. Heck, if that’s all it takes to make a musical these days, I could write a few this weekend.

  • Trisha

    I thought I was the only one – as a female, I am supposed to love this awful,so called musical. My husbands business partner and wife actually gave me the DVD for Christmas one year, thinking it was probably a safe bet for a woman of a certain age, over 50. I took it to the charity shop, having tried to watch it once before and desperately failing. I couldn’t believe anyone could make someone so poor and it be so popular – do people have no taste?! No plot, awful singing, awful acting, dreadful, dreadful, embarressingly so, I quirmed in my seat. Worst of all, it has spoilt the Abba songs for me, which I am old enough to have liked the when they first came out. I just didn’t get this trying to fit something, anything, around songs that already existed, what is this about? Yes, I like the music (or did before the so-called musical) but why wring it out into some awful forced failure of a thing, just for money. The lack of integrity and any real point to it, just gets me so insensed with disgust.

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