Take a chance on ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’

Musicals and disco music both make me happy, but together, they put me in good mood for the rest of the week.
Knowing this, you can only imagine how I felt when “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” brought ABBA to life on the big screen once again.
“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” is the sequel to the film adaptation of “Mamma Mia!,” the Tony nominated Broadway musical.
The original musical revolves around Sophie, played by Amanda Seyfried in the movie, and her mother Donna, played by
Meryl Streep.
Donna is a single mother who runs a hotel on a small island in Greece and is planning her daughter’s wedding. Sophie surprises her mother by inviting the three men that may possibly be her father to her wedding.
In the midst of wedding chaos and past love, we never discover who Sophie’s father is. Instead, all three men step up to care for Sophie, but we are left to question how Donna could have three suitors in such a short span of time.
Thankfully, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” answers that question.
The musical’s sequel relives Donna’s past life as she leaves home and travels to Greece. Along the way, she meets three dashing young men that all instantly fall for her charm. In the original script, it seems that Donna’s three love affairs are scandalous, but in the new film they are revealed to be sweet
and serendipitous.
Young Donna is played by Lily James, the actress who brought “Cinderella” to life in the 2015 live-action remake. I loved Lily James in “Cinderella,” and I enjoyed watching her take on the role of a young, independent woman.
The original “Mamma Mia!” cast is also a part of the new film, including Meryl Streep, whose character is dead during the film.
Sophie reminisces on her mother’s impact in her life and on their small Greek island as she prepares to re-open the hotel her mother always dreamed about.
To celebrate the opening, all three of her potential fathers attend the celebration. They reflect on the first time they met Donna and the love they had.
Young Donna is an inspiring character as she graduates valedictorian and then ventures to Greece on her own. She is independent and self-assured, and it is easy to see why all three men fall for her.
Many have commented that the strong leads in both “Mamma Mia!” and “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” have empowered women and distinguish the films as
feminist showcases.
“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” does replay hits featured in the first movie. While there has been criticism that reusing the songs lacks originality and makes this film too comparable to the first film, there are only so many ABBA songs to choose from. In fact, I see no problem with using the music that audiences fell in love with in the first place.
ABBA’s music ranges from sentimental to upbeat and fun. Every audience member will leave the film singing the tune of one of their many hits. The playfulness of the music draws the viewer in and helps show the character of the film, the script and the character’s themselves. However, the slower paced songs may cause some to shed a tear because they add to the sentiment established in honoring Donna’s life and memory.
While ABBA and an amazing first movie are enough to draw in a crowd for “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” I know many people attended the movie for one reason: Cher.
Cher is an icon, and the director and cast must have known she would draw a crowd, but Cher’s role in the movie as Donna’s mother is unbelievable.
It is hinted in the original “Mamma Mia!” that Donna’s mother is dead, so it is quite a shock when the diva appears on screen. Cher is also 72 years old, while Streep is 69, making it improbable that an audience would actually believe Cher is her mother.
Cher’s role in the film is simply for show, but the diva does bring in an element of surprise to the film.
Despite replayed songs and a sometimes illogical storyline, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” is a must see for those who enjoy a light-hearted film and pretending they’re a “dancing queen.” I still find myself singing the tunes from the movie and shopping for plane tickets to Greece to find my long lost love, and it’s been weeks since I’ve seen the film.

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