Film, Go To

GO TO: Mamma Mia! (2008) Dir. Phyllida Lloyd

Screens Thursday, 5/11 @ Coolidge


Jukebox musical cornerstone and timeless mother daughter tale Mamma Mia! is a fountain of love, music, and purely joyful cinema. Meryl Streep never ceases to be iconic, especially as Donna Sheridan, the hardworking, warmhearted mother of Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried). Accompanied by a star-studded, talented cast composed of Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, and Stellan Skarsgård, the Mamma Mia! ensemble is extremely easy to fall in love with, as is the fictional yet stunning Greek island of Kalokairi. The cast roams the island, bursting into dramatic, beautiful song, spurring moments of heartbreak into scenes of flashy song and dance, emblematic of true cinematic musical mastery.

Mamma Mia! is so resonant and popular because it is about being deeply heartbroken, and dancing and singing with your friends anyway. It’s about being okay with being hurt and sad because love can be even more fulfilling in ways that are not romantic. Each musical performance and dance sequence is unforgettable, from the dramatic chaos of “Voulez-Vous” to the palpable desire in “Lay All Your Love On Me,” plus the endless platonic love in “Super Trouper,” and Streep’s pure power and emotion in “The Winner Takes It All,” every song performed is incredible, as soon as one ends I find myself itching for the next. The miscellaneous ABBA songs fit seamlessly into the narrative, as Mamma Mia! is the standard for a successful jukebox musical, making ABBA’s timeless tracks even more beloved.

I’ve watched Mamma Mia! at sleepover parties, during late nights in my friends’ rooms, and on the plane to Greece, but I long to watch it in a theater; a film so classic, magnetic, and funny will shine so bright in a dimly lit cinema. Every screening is a celebration, an invitation to dance and sing along that is impossible to refuse.

Mamma Mia! is beyond cinema– it’s a call for joy and friendship above all else. The romance and magic of the story is not in the love stories between Sophie and Sky or Donna and Sam, the romance is between the friendships, Sophie and her friends and Donna and the Dynamos. Both Donna and Sophie’s sorrows and solemn moments are persevered through because of the love and support they get from their female friends.

Mamma Mia! is an endlessly happy and beautiful tale, with extravagant music and dancing, filled so heavily with life and love; it is impossible to dislike Mamma Mia! The cinematic pull is magnetic, invoking wanderlust, fulfillment in friendships, and love in truly all forms. The film simply dazzles in every way, a film rife with optimism, and a reminder to dance through the heartbreaks, and find and cherish love in all the ways that you can.

Mamma Mia!
dir. Phyllida Lloyd
108 min.

Screens (on 35mm!) Thursday, 5/11, 7:00pm @ Coolidge Corner Theatre
Part of the ongoing series: Cinema Jukebox, Spotlight on Women

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