Smorgasbord #Film review – #Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again – As cheesy as you like, but #brilliant #SoulFood

I am an unashamed ABBA fan as they were part of the music of my late teens and early 20s. Their songs by 1973 were being played at discos, and on the radio repeatedly, and their influence on us was phenomenal. I so enjoyed the first Mamma Mia film ten years ago, and the DVD has been watched many times, usually with girlfriends and a couple of bottles of wine.

It is now time to return to that idyllic Greek island of Kalokairi, which we left in such high spirits five years ago and catch up with events. The hotel has been renovated and Donna’s daughter Sophie is organising the grand opening. She has a secret that mirrors her mother’s story, but it seems that nature is about to dampen the party spirit.

It was wonderful to see so many of the cast returning, with the hilariously scatty Julie Walters as Rosie, ascerbic and witty Christine Baranski as Tanya, Amanda Seyfried as daughter Sophie, Dominic Cooper as her boyfriend Sky and Sophie’s three possible fathers, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgård and Colin Firth as Sam, Bill and Harry.

This is billed as a sequel but in fact it is a prequel too. We get to find out how Donna met the three men in her life as she traveled through Europe to find herself, and her eventual arrival on the island and why she decided to stay. The young Donna is excellently played by Lily James (Downtown Abbey)and the story is cleverly crafted around ABBA tracks that tempt you to get out into the aisle and start dancing.

Newcomers to the family include Cher as Sophie’s grandmother, and a very dapper Andy Garcia as Fernando, I am sure you can guess which ABBA song Cher was going to be singing!

That is the cast assembled and they were all outstanding. Part of the appeal for me, was that not all those singing, were necessarily in tune. It made it feel that much more spontaneous and entertaining. I was very impressed with Lily James as the younger Donna and her voice, as I was again with Meryl Streep. The music hits just kept coming and the dance scenes were brilliantly choreographed.

It was definitely cheesy in places, but that just added to the fun, and there was also enough emotionally charged moments to keep the tissue manufacturers very happy. Who would not enjoy love, laughter in such a stunning location.

It is difficult to pick stand out moments but there is one character who will have you in stitches; Omid Djalili the British Iranian stand up comedian and actor as the customs officer. Just one of the laugh aloud moments throughout the film.

The highlight for me would be Cher singing Fernando, and demonstrated that even when you have heard a song a thousand times, in the hands of a master, you will find a new perspective.

The film was directed by Ol Parker (The Best Marigold Hotel) who also wrote the script adapted from the story by Catherine Johnson, Richard Curtis and himself, and the intricate weaving of the story back and forth between past and present was seamless. The music of course was fine tuned for the score by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus who are also executive producers, and you might glimpse them in the background if you look carefully. Some Hollywood legends also put their weight behind the production including Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.

There is no way that with this cast and production team, that Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, is not going to be as big a hit as the original film. I highly recommend that you go and see it in the cinema so that you can enjoy the incredible scenery of the location. I would imagine that the actual Croatian island of Vis will find itself hosting more than a film crew and cast after this.

It was clear that the rest of the audience enjoyed the film as much as I did with lots of laughter, singing along and chatter as they left the cinema. The mark of a well made film that leaves you feeling good.

Get together with some ABBA loving friends and head off to enjoy.

Here is the official trailer for Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again.

Universal Pictures

The soundtrack from the film is also available: Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again

Look forward to hearing your views on the film… thanks Sally

43 thoughts on “Smorgasbord #Film review – #Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again – As cheesy as you like, but #brilliant #SoulFood

  1. I absolutely loved this one and the first, Sally! The actors all did a splendid job. Loved Lili James in the roll of young Donna. Of course the three fathers were wonderful in their roles as always. I was thrilled to see Cher and hear her magnificent voice! I saw her back in the 60’s when she was just a young beautiful upcoming star with Sonny Bono. They were fabulous and so much fun! Nice that they put Andy Garci with Cher. Good team. Fantasmagorical show for all! I kept singing the songs all the way home!
    You did a superb review of the movie, Sally! Now I don’t have to do one. I couldn’t have done it better! Thanks for making me relive it! I plan on buying it when it comes out on DVD. Hugs xx ♥️ That’s the Name of the Game, Mama Mia! LOL!

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  3. I saw it on Wednesday 😊 Unfortunately the cinema is an hour away but I made a day of it with shopping and a lovely Indian meal. The cast were fabulous and I so enjoyed seeing how everyone had aged. Such fabulous joie de vivre! Sophie’s mother not being there for the birth of her baby made me feel quite sad for the loss of my own mum at such a young age. Like you I will be buying the dvd for girls nights sing a longs. 🌼

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  5. I can’t wait to see it, Sally. Every New Year’s Eve we always watch Mamma Mia. It’s become a tradition that will keep going so long as December 31st comes around for us. Now, when it’s available to stream, we’ll be adding ‘Here We Go Again’ to our New Year’s Eve timetable. I hope it’s available by the end of this year.

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  6. I loved the first movie and the theatre version (I saw it in Barcelona with my mother and some friends, a great production) and I have this one on my list as well, although I’m waiting a bit until the crowds die down… Thanks for the thumbs up, Sally!

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  8. I didn’t know there was a sequel to the film coming out, Sally. I love the theater production but wasn’t as impressed with the film, mainly because the singing wasn’t as good in the film. I am sure I will see this when it makes it way over here.

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