90% of everyone in the world, I couldn't wait for this weekend.
The movie event of the summer. The most anticipated flick of
the whole freakin' year. No surprise that the line went around
the corner at the Olde Town cinema by Friday morning. After
a largely sleepless night, I got there at six a.m. and was already
behind a few hundred other with rabid fans, some of whom I'm
guessing--due to smell and mounds of feces--had been there for
among us was electric. No words were exchanged; we all knew
what we were waiting for, why we'd been shaking nervously for
days, and why we'd been buying up the action figures as quickly
as the Toys R Us could put them on the shelves.
weren't what I expected. Sure, I expected a lot of gay men.
But I thought there would be a few women, too. And the gay guys
would be out and proud, not closeted, loner, overweight, bearded
or goateed men who hid their sexual preferences behind supersized
Mountain Dews and hideous comic book T-shirts. I guess that's
the magical power of ABBA. The beauty and majesty of songs like
"Waterloo" and "Dancing Queen" are just too wonderful to resist.
line was moving and we were on our way into the theater. My
heart pounded so hard I felt it in my ears. I bought my ticket,
without even having to ask for the movie by name. I just told
the cashier, "Same as everyone else." And she knew exactly what
I meant. But I added, "I'm not gay like them, though," because
she was cute. With ticket in hand, I followed the others into
the theater. We settled in and waited to be transported to a
bright, cheery land where our troubles would be forgotte in
a swirling sea of high notes and toe-tapping beats.
say, Mamma Mia su-ucked. I'm no authority on the Broadway
musical; I only saw the local production forty-three times at
the Arvada Performing Arts Center, but I distinctly remember
it being a way different and more uplifting experience.
think it's great when something originally meant for the stage
is given new life on screen. I especially like it when the moviemakers
take creative license in the adaptation, and broaden the canvas
to take advantage of "movie magic". But they went way too far
this time. Mamma Mia, the musical, is way more musical,
way less dark, and has far fewer brutal killings than this.
About the only theme that carries over is the gayness.
version was about a woman whose daughter is about to be married
and invites three different menwhose names she discovered in
her mother's diary, and who may be her father. This causes all
sorts of dilemma and heartbreak for the mother, who may still
have some feelings for these guys. Along the way to its happy
ending, there's a lot of dancing, singing, hand-holding and
moments so artificially sweet they'd kill lab rats long before
they'd be approved as an ingredient in diet soda.
Mamma Mia promised a blockbuster cast, led by Meryl Streep.
Man, she looks horrible. She wears so much makeup she looks
like a fucking clown. Plus, I think a few earthworms have been
tunneling under her skin. Instead of singing the imminently
enjoyable ABBA hits, she's just maniacal and hams her way through
the movie with a cackle of a laugh and some subplot about trying
to kill Christian Bale. They keep calling her a joker, but she
I didn't see her do a single thing I'd consider funny. I presume
Bale is one of the former lovers who may be Streep's daughter's
father. I don't know why, but Bale spends half the movie dressed
in a black Mardi Gras mask and talking in a gravelly voice that
sounds like he's auditioning for a death metal band, or he smokes
eight packs of cigarettes a day, then eats three more. He's
really damn wealthy, which is great. But he doesn't sing a single
song. Not even a minor hit, like "Another Town, Another Train."
He could have easily squeezed that in, maybe as a singalong
in the stupid-looking dune buggy he drives around.
Mia's original exotic and lush Greek island setting has
been replaced with a dark and dingy metropolis. Why? Who wants
to hear "Fernando" when it's always raining and the stars spend
all their time thinking about jamming pencils through each other?
Now that I think about it, I do!!! Damn, that would cheer this
shit up. Maybe even convince the director to stop shooting everything
through a dim blue lens, or have the people come up from underground
and try a smile.
Aaron Eckhart plays another of the potential fathers. He's a
lawyer, or something, so he's probably got a lot of money, too.
Eckhart ain't too interesting as an actor. He usually gets upstaged
by his cleft chin. In Mama Mia, he gets half his face
burned off. What the fuck is that? Are they trying to encroach
on the Phantom of the Opera schtick? Still, I wouldn't
mind it so much if he'd belt out "Lovelight" while his bones
and muscle are exposed.
about halfway through Mamma Mia's 150 minute running
time that I hadn't wanted to get up and dance once. Why the
fuck did I wear my old ballet slippers? I should have left them
in their 15-year hibernation and not stir up those old feelings
of what may have been for me. Worse than me not dancing was
that none of these fat guys were dancing either. I would think
the aisles would be clogged with writhing bodies, but it's pretty
damn hard to do when you're watching a guy blow up or fall off
a building. Don't get me wrong, it can be done. It's just hard.
All these other guys appeared to be way more into this movie
version than I was. Typical idiots who will suck up an slop
put before them. Hey, you dumbasses! Didn't you even notice
they never had any dance numbers?
many subplots that aren't in the stage version of Mamma Mia
and they really fuck shit up here. First, Streep is just flat-out
nuts with her purple suit and all the jumping around. At one
point, during what I think is a costume party, she robs a bank
and kills some people. At another party, she starts running
her potato peeling knife through her hair. Ewww! Gross! That's
not keeping in ABBA's spirit. That's more like Rickie Le Jones
or Ohio Players shit. Eckhart's lawyer has some sort of grand
ambition to be king, or ruler of all Greece and he's all budydy-buddy
with cops. Maybe that's so he can sing the shit out of "SOS".
Whatever, he never gets to be king, so the song never gets played.
I know that
Streep is all torn up about these ex-lovers like Bale and Eckhart
coming back into her life, but why kill them? Wouldn't it be
more fun for everyone if she stopped licking her lips for a
God damn second and danced around? Yes, it would. And why does
it take so damn long to get through this thing? Without a single
this Mamma Mia is a long-ass mess. Change the story,
fine. Change the tone, well, okay, if you have to. But not sing
the songs? And keep blowing people's heads off? Man, those Hollywood
dumbfucks really screwed up this one. I wish they took their
responsibility as seriously as I do. And I sure as fuck hope
they don't make a sequel. I couldn't handle the carnage. Two
to tell Filthy Something?