Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
A decade has passed since Mamma Mia!, but in this prequel/sequel, it's only been five years and Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) learns about her mother when she was her age while she is pregnant herself. I have a spoiler that you find out at the beginning of the movie, but you may not want to read the rest of this. But the movie re-racks all the ABBA songs for another celebration and there's really not much of the story line added to this addition that we didn't already know.
Written and directed by Ol Parker (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again starts with Sophie sending out invitations to the re-opening of her hotel. She invites her three dads and her grandmother, Ruby Sheridan (Cher). Her mom, Donna, has passed and she runs the hotel. On top of handling all of this, she's pregnant and her husband, Sky (Preacher's Dominic Cooper) is more concerned about a job in New York City than being with her. Sophie is worried that she's not going to be able to handle motherhood by herself, but her mom's besties, Tanya (Julie Walters) and Rosie (Christine Baranski) tell her stories of how her own mother met her three fathers and then raised her alone without the help of her own mother, Ruby. In these flashbacks scenes, you see how Tanya and Rosie were attracted to the young men as well as Donna was and when they started their own band, The Dynamos.
Even though we didn't know exactly minute by minute the situations young Donna had with her men of that summer, we really already had the idea. I believe that there could have been much more character development with her relationships. I also believe this for Sophie's grandmother. She just walks right in after not knowing Sophie after all this time and it's all fine and dandy because the most important part here is that we are all part of this wonderful party celebrating the music of ABBA. The movie is campy and silly and really just seems like it's trying to make fans of the first film smile. For some reason, even though Cher is only 3 years older than Meryl Streep, we suspend all belief and think that this is her mother. They were in Silkwood together back in 1983 at the height of their film careers. And it's not like Cher was made to look older. And if you are going to see this for Cher and Meryl, their screen time is very limited. Maybe this relationship of Sophie and her grandmother is per chance the plot for the next movie when Mamma Mia: Does It Show Again comes out. Hey, ABBA joined back together to release another album after 35 years. More reason to have a third film.
Ken's Movie Review Grading Scale
A - Superb and solid; a movie that will be etched in your mind 10 years from now
B - Good movie, so good in fact that you would want to see it again before it's out of the theaters; the story may drag in places
C - Average, entertaining at parts; you might want to wait and rent it
D - Lacks a lot from entertainment, plot, realism, development, etc.
F - Terrible and you will want to walk out of the movie; no redemptive qualities whatsoever