CITY PRESS MOVIE REVIEW: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Director: Ol Parker
Starring: Cher, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan and Meryl Streep
A decade after Meryl Streep proved that on top of everything else she is a Dancing Queen, the sequel to Mamma Mia! has arrived. Co-penned by the director Ol Parker (who captained both Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movies), with the genius comedy of Richard Curtis (Love, Actually and Four Weddings and A Funeral) and Catherine Johnson, who wrote Mamma Mia! the stage musical that started it all, it’s a triumph of sentimentality and song.
The opening number – When I Kissed The Teacher – sets the tone for a two-hour romp of ridiculously good sing-along fun. Lily James is young Donna (played in the original by Meryl Streep), and this is her story, so a prequel to the “which one’s the dad” of the original. There are 18 Abba songs in it and only four are repeats – The Name Of The Game, Mamma Mia!, Dancing Queen and Super Trouper.
With 14 extra songs by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, two-quarters of Abba’s creative force, you will need to keep an eye out for their cameos – and brace yourself for the entrance of the iconic Cher. It’s sacrilege to write down her age – because 72 is just a number and she is indeed ageless. Her serenade, Fernando, will take your breath away and she has just recorded a whole album of Abba covers because: “After I did Fernando [in the film], I thought it would be fun to do an album of Abba songs, so I did!”
The film, set again on a magical Greek island, is again co-produced by Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, who seem to have a soft spot for all things Greek – having also produced the two My Big Fat Greek Wedding films.
In places the film could be classified as cringe-tastic, but it never feels ashamed of being what it is: An exuberant celebration of the good life set to a wicked playlist.
The cast have more fun than should be legal and there’s an overwhelming feeling – like there was with the first film – that everyone turned up to capture the act of happiness on film.
Go and see it with this attitude and you won’t be disappointed. Take your inner cynic, tie it up and leave it in the car to fester while your inner shower popstar sings along.