Laughter, emotion, and singing are the ingredients of an ultimate musical movie. Mamma Mia! includes these and exceeds them beyond expectation, developing it into the comedic musical drama it is known for today. With its melodious music and appealing scenery of Kalokairi, a made up name for the real life greek island of Skopelos, this movie transports you to a world that is impossible to leave even after the credits roll. It’s romantic and comedic elements are perfectly portrayed by the star studded cast. The characters that they represent are impossible not to love. Even after the story officially ends, the movie leaves you with the common question, who is Sophie’s father?
Each character has their own unique personality, displaying their different yet similar outlooks on life. Their connections and relationships makes you feel like you are a part of their love-filled family. The lead character Donna (Meryl Streep), is a single mother who is running a crumbling hotel by herself and preparing a wedding for her 20 year old daughter, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried). Donna is helped out by her two best friends, Rosie (Julie Walters) and Tanya (Christine Baranski), who everyone deserves to have in their life. While Donna is reunited with her friends, Sophie is hoping for a different reunion, with her father. Young Donna had written down in her diary about her experiences falling in love with three different men; Sam Carmichael (Pierce Brosnan), Harry Bright or “Head Banger” (Colin Firth), and Bill Austin (Stellan Skarsgård). One after the other, all around the same time. When Sophie finds this diary and discovers her three possible fathers, she sends each an invitation to her wedding. Sophie wants to find out who her father is since it is the last puzzle piece missing from her identity.
The music in Mamma Mia! is the glue that makes it such a popular movie. I mean, what is a musical without a smash topping soundtrack? ABBA’s 1975 album, ironically named, “Mamma Mia” was a perfect match for the cheerful and heartfelt comedy. It has won the British Empire Award for the Best Soundtrack and was nominated a Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. With this music, watching Mamma Mia is like watching a masterpiece unfold in front of your eyes. The movie has you hooked by the heartwarming opening song, “I Have a Dream”, and even makes you want to stay through the ending credits, as the emotionally accurate verses of, “Thank You for The Music” eases you out of the simple yet significant ending. Somewhere along the lines of the song Seyfried claims “I'm nothing special, in fact I'm a bit of a bore. If I tell a joke, you've probably heard it before” these humor aspects then are followed by more sincere verses, “Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing. Thanks for all the joy they're bringing. Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty. What would life be?” which is something anyone with even the tiniest love for music can relate to. No one can live without music even if we tried. We all have a love for a beat or something that can move us. The irony these verses bring is that the song itself is one of the most loved songs of Mamma Mia!. Anyone who watched the movie is extremely thankful for Seyfried’s voice and Benny Andersson, of ABBA’s, simple but authentic piano skills. Music is known for improving your mood faster than any other remedy, and not to exaggerate, but there is no surprise that after watching the movie for the first time you will never see a gloomy day again. The music has been known get stuck in your brain for days and weeks to come. Also, even after a month or two have gone by, it always somehow gets back to you. You can even listen to the movie, instead of watching it, and claim that Mamma Mia! is the most moving film that has ever been thought of and you’ll be grateful that is was ever released.
From the thrills of falling in love and spending the rest of your life with them to re-sparking with a past love who you thought had gotten married, but instead called it off and had come back to find out “you were off with some other guy”, this movie sure knows how to combine drama and romance perfectly. I mean who doesn’t love, love? As mentioned before, Mamma Mia! was created to lift you up and will have you singing along to every lyric. No matter if you are male, female, old or young, it is a masterpiece that must be showed to everyone. If you haven’t watched Mamma Mia! you are missing out. It is perfect for one of those terrible days when you need something to boost your mood. I could go on and on about why Mamma Mia! is a must see, but that would defeat the purpose of you finding your own connections to the movie. Therefore, I will end it off by admitting, Mamma Mia! points out the true effect music, choreography, and amazing acting has on an audience because “without a song or a dance what [really] are we?”.