After a Decade of its Release, I Finally Gave Mamma Mia! (And its Prequel) A Try

Words by Micah Avry Guiao

Despite being into musicals, I have never seen Mamma Mia! I was exceptionally clueless. In this time and age, it’s impossible not to come across this famous jukebox musical romantic comedy based on—well, you guessed it—a musical of the same name. Following the first movie’s success exactly a decade ago, a sequel (or a prequel, rather) was destined to be created. Yet even then, I knew nothing about the movies.

RELATED: 10 Reasons Why You Should Watch Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Since my friend would absolutely not stop raging about young Bill (and thousands of other people on Twitter), I finally decided to give Mamma Mia! and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again a try.

It was especially fitting since the smash-hit musical Mamma Mia! is coming back on stage at Solaire on the 29th of September.

Mamma Mia! is about a young woman trying to find out who among her mother’s past lovers is her father. And if that plot sounds simple enough, it’s because it is meant to be taken that way: just an ultimate “feel-good” movie in 110 minutes dedicated to fun-filled, jam-worthy ABBA tunes that will have all generations dancing on their toes.

I didn’t know I was familiar with ABBA songs, yet somehow I still found myself singing along to the choruses of timeless classics such as “Dancing Queen”, “Money Money Money”, and “Mamma Mia.” Because let’s face it, even when you’re not personally an ABBA fan, come on. It’s still ABBA.

I would discuss the mediocre singing (I’m looking at you, Pierce Brosnan), but the guy gets called out enough. I’ll cut him some slack. I’m a decade late to the criticism party, anyway. Looking past its low points and occasional inconsistencies such as dumping out the original young Sam, Bill, and Harry, and their distinctive 70s looks, I decided that I like this movie franchise nevertheless.

One aspect I can’t seem to brush off is how peculiar the portrayal of Donna’s mother (Cher) was made out. In both films we are hinted to dislike Donna’s mother for being “judgmental” and rather unsupportive, but in the last 20 minutes of the second movie, she comes to the hotel opening uninvited—a situation that was much like her sudden appearance in the movie.

Also, I would just like to add: Lily James. Forget young Bill—my, my, how could anyone resist her? Ten/10 would father her children (no wonder Sam, Bill, and Harry came rushing at Sophie’s invitation!)

Lily James in Mamma Mia!

My favorite scene would have to be in the second film, nearing the credits. I thought the entire cast’s rendition of “Super Trouper” was super cute and well-done—the transitions were swift and smooth, and it made me feel a sort of nostalgia for the characters even though I’ve only gotten to know them those past two days.

As my friend put it, both films “explore femininity without degrading it and making it appear as something to rid yourself of to appear stronger.” And she’s right.  Mamma Mia! is all about the females getting each other through hard times, supporting one another, and joining each other in glorious chorus.

For sure, these movies will make you want to live on a Greek island and fall in love with three gorgeous men, too. Or, more realistically, put the Mamma Mia soundtrack on repeat for the next few weeks to come.

What did you think of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again? Tell us in the comments!

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