I will admit when I saw the trailer in the theater the first time I thought to myself, “Meh, see it on Netflix” thinking of the singing of Pierce Brosnan in the original, hey don’t judge. Next thing you know we learn Grandma in upcoming movie is Cher! Without a doubt, I knew viewing required in the theater. I was not disappointed today at all. This musical surprised me with the wave of emotions I felt, including a few tears. Not sure if you want to spend your summer box office budget on this Mother Daughter bonding musical sequel? Here are Five Reasons you Need to See Mama Mia Here We Go Again and whether it is kid friendly.
Five Reasons To See Mama Mia Here We Go Again:
Reason One, The Cast with Honorable mention to Lily James
Yes, the original cast is back, all of them even Pierce Brosnan who was the weakest link singing wise in the original. The new additions including younger versions Donna, Harry, Bill, Sam, who perfectly suit their older counter parts with much better singing voices. The younger versions carry the film with their songs.
Lily James is in the central role of the young Donna in the days she conceived her daughter Sophie played by Amanda Seyfried. She shines brightly with her singing and dancing. You might know Lily from Downton Abbey or Disney’s live action Cinderella. She has a very strong screen presence and captured the free-spirited Donna brilliantly. She sparked chemistry with her costars – as friends and lovers. She carries the film through some of it’s rougher parts with her amazing voice, and that bright smile.
Yes, Cher was a big reason I went to see this movie, loved her since I was five. She did not disappoint at all. Her singing Abba reminds me how she used to cover songs on her TV shows. I loved her dancing with Andy Garcia to Fernando as well. FYI, if you are a fan, check out this review I did of Dear Mom, Love Cher DVD.
Amanda Seyfried portrayed a motherless daughter so so well – I lost my mom when I was 18. A richer part than in the original and she brought it with her strong voice too.
It appears that the cast is having a fabulous time in these roles, no matter how big or small. There is a chemistry like they are all friends making the fun downright contagious.
Reason Two, The ABBA Songs
Growing up in the 70’s, loved me some ABBA. Dancing Queen is one to get me on the dance floor stat, I know I am not alone in that one. “Dancing Queen”, “Mama Mia”, and “I Had a Dream” make repeat appearances in this sequel, though in a different light. Seeing Cher sing and dance with Andy Garcia in “Fernando” was perfection and loved this back story of these character’s is in the lyrics. Andy’s hotel manager character is very mysterious and this brings to light why.
ABBA has a very large catalog of songs to pull from. There are times in this film listening to the lyrics and seeing the story unfold brought me to tears. Of course it also had me tapping my feet and dancing in my reclined theater chair. This will certainly give life to lesser known songs including “When I Kissed the Teacher”, “Andante, Andante” and “I’ve Been Waiting for You” – my favorite. The lyrics of ABBA songs are full of emotion and our feelings. Music connects us, and its no surprise the world-wide appeal of ABBA by their volume of work.
Reason Three, You are a Fan of Mama Mia the Musical
I remember dancing in the aisles of Atlanta’s Fox Theatre both times I saw the traveling Broadway musical – I wasn’t the only one. The original story of a single working woman coming face to face with her past with comedy and music was a huge hit. On the eve of upcoming daughter’s wedding she faces the three men she hasn’t seen since around the time of her daughter’s conception. Who is Sophie’s dad is a question Sophie herself has along with the rest of us. Thrown in the story set on a Greek Island are the songs of ABBA.
In Mama Mia Here We Go Again younger Donna just graduated from Oxford and seeking and the excitement and adventure of the world. We find out how she met Harry, Bill and Sam – the three men who she slept with around the time she conceived her daughter Sophie. We also get to catch up with adult Sophie five years after the original ended now working towards opening up Hotel Bella Donna same place from the first movie she grew up. We find out Sophie’s relationship with Sky is in trouble. The storyline goes back and forth between young Donna and Sophie timelines.
In a summer packed with sequels, this one surpasses the original in enjoyment. There is a little more depth to the story, though let’s be real here, Shakespeare it is not. This story is about pure fun entertainment. IMO, exactly what we need now.
There is a strong theme of Mother Daughter bonding on many levels explored more deeply in this sequel. While moving and touching in some scenes, a dance party in others. The story of Sophie trying to open the hotel while in a rough patch in her relationship was woven with the story of Sophie’s conception.
Reason Four, The Scenery
Shot in Croatia though set on Greek island was visually stunning. OK, admittedly not as stunning as the original film shot in Greece, but still felt like a travelogue to me. Young Donna’s free spirit fits well in the remote island she ends up settling in. Donna felt called to Greece, and the land and the hotel are such an idyllic setting.
While not really Greece, the sites made me want to take Greek Vacation with a flotilla of boats full of people dancing. I would love to vacation at the fictional Hotel Bella Donna or take a ferry over from the mainland.
Reason Five, You Like Musical Movies
Today’s opening weekend Box Office means EVERYTHING to studios. If you are a fan of this genre, please go see them opening weekend in the theater to let the industry know. It really matters. If you can’t make it opening weekend, please see it in theaters. Movie musicals are so much better viewed on a big screen in the dark.
It is so rare a musical spawns a sequel, and this one hit it out of the park. I think it is better than the first movie.
Bottom Line Mama Mia Here We Go Again
In the world we currently live in, Mama Mia Here We Go Again is a refreshing summer breeze. Strong vocals, stunning visuals, fun cast. Themes of mother daughter bonding starts out a little shaky, but it builds as it goes and ends with the fun costumes, singing and dancing we think of with ABBA. The cast seemed to be having a great time. Oh I might be biased, I LOVE Lily James and Cher. Lily is a rising star bursting with talent. Cher is larger than life and has fun with her character as Meryl Streeps mother. I laughed, I cried, I danced. I enjoyed myself in the theater for 2 hours, nice way to spend the afternoon with my daughter and her friend and her friend’s mom. We all agreed, very fun movie that we would see again.
Footnote, Is Mama Mia Here We Go Again For Kids?
Well the music is certainly sure to be a hit with kids. I lwatched with my 11 year old daughter and love this story features strong women controlling their own lives at whatever life throws them. Rated PG-13, I would say it is not for smaller kids because of some suggestive material. The story of Sophie’s conception is about Donna having relations with 3 different men she just met in a short period of time so she doesn’t know who the father is. While there is nothing graphic shown, we do see Donna in bed with each as the story unfolds.. Christine Baranski’s character uses the phrase “Be Still My Vagina”….don’t judge the movie on this IMO bad line, but you might need to explain what in the world she meant if asked. My daughter and her friend both loved the movie and the music.
I was very surprised how much I LOVED the movie and how the storyline of Mother-Daughter relationships tugged at my heartstrings hard. I knew I was like it, but it surpassed my goals. I used my MoviePass for my ticket purchase, that thing comes in so handy!
Are you a fan of Mama Mia? What do you think of the sequel?
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