Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Stars: Lily James, Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Cher, Julie Walters, Colin Firth, Dominic Cooper, Stellan Skarsgard, Christine Baranski, and Pierce Brosnan
Director/Scriptwriter: Ol Parker from a story by Catherine Johnson and Richard Curtis
Composer: Anne Dudley
Cinematography: Robert Yeoman
Rating: PG 13
Running Length: 115 Minutes
This film certainly has a plethora of name stars---it is a musical, too---but can everyone sing? By the end of the movie, you won’t care. It is summer, everyone in the movie is happy, “ABBA’s” music continues, and life is good. This second film has ABBA music that, perhaps, is lesser known to some, but don’t let that stop you. ABBA is ABBA. “Mamma Mia” and “Dancing Queen” and “Super Trouper” are still there. Then there are “When I Kissed The Teacher,” “The Name Of The Game” and “Thank You For The Music.”
On to the story line, which is told in flashbacks between present day on the island of Kalokairi. It is five years after the first movie, and Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is reopening the hotel. Donna, her mother (Meryl Streep) has passed away. Sophie has problems to contend with such as her marriage to Sky (Dominic Cooper), and two of her fathers, Bill (Stellan Skarsgard) and Harry (Colin Firth) who cannot make it to see the remodeled hotel. Back almost 40 years to when Donna (Meryl Streep) was a young woman who meets Harry in Paris, Bill on a boat ride and Sam (Pierce Brosnan) while having a fling. Donna finds out she is pregnant, but who is the father? Through a series of errors, she ends up on Kalokaira where she has a baby girl and runs her own mother’s hotel. The young Donna is played by Lily James from “Downton Abbey.” Mom is actually Cher playing the part of Ruby, the hotel owner, and she sings a duet with Andy Garcia. In other words, this movie really has a cast of big names. So, eventually the past comes into the present and things are put in place while there is sunshine and music everywhere, dancing to delight and a grand finale.
You wonder when Pierce Brosnan was doing James Bond, if he ever thought he would be in a summer musical. Such is the life of an actor. Reason for making another “Mamma Mia?” The first one was quite the success, so why not? In the movie credits, you will see the names of two famous acting families: Streep (Meryl) and Wynn (Jessica Keenan Wynn.) The beginning number of “When I Kissed The Teacher” with Donna (James) and her two friends, Tanya (Jessica Keenan Wynn) and Rosie (Alexa Davies) gives you an idea of where this is going. Life goes on.
You may think you don’t want to see “Mamma Mia 2” with additional ABBA songs. You may not even be an ABBA fan. You may think these thoughts, and then find out just about everyone you know is headed to the local theater for an evening of music and it won’t be an “Impossible Mission.” The dialogue is adequate for the plot which wanders a bit and the stars seem to be having so much fun they don’t mind their songs and at the end of two hours Greece and Italy look tantalizing and you are humming in the car on the way home. Cher is even putting out an album of ABBA songs. Along the way we meet Christine Baranski as the older Tanya and Julie Walters as the older Rosie. Jeremy Irvin plays the younger Sam, while Hugh Skinner is the younger Harry and Josh Dylan is the younger Bill.
“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” is light, fun and entertainment. Plus, if you haven’t taken a vacation in years, you will feel as though you are on one here.
Copyright 2018 Marie Asner