Directed By: Phyllida Lloyd
Written By: Catherine Johnson
Staring: Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Julie Walters, Christine Baranski, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard & Dominic Cooper
I went into this film wanting so much to love it, but I can't. Let me start off by saying that the film is okay. Not great, not horrible, just okay.
I will start with the good. MERYL STREEP is a god! I mean can this woman do anything wrong? She took what she was given with this role and she had a great time. There is never a point in the film when it doesn't look like Meryl is having the time of her life. Even when the director has let her down in every way possible, Ms. Streep is having a great time. Amanda Seyfried does a good job in her role, I think that she would have been fantastic in the hands of a better director.
Now for the bad, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, and Pierce Brosnan are so miscast it is horrible. HELLO casting directors, it is a musical! Sure, they can carry a tune, but it is does not mean that they should be making musicals! Dominic Cooper is great, but he was so underused that it was pointless in casting him. He did have some nice moments with Amanda, but other than that he was only cast for his good looks, and not for his acting, which is a shame.
As for Julie Walters & Christine Baranski, I loved them in these roles, even tho I felt that the screenplay really hurt them. Seeing them together with Streep was awesome, they looked so comfortable together. It was one of the high-points of the film.
Here is what it comes down to, the writers made a huge mistake by not filling in some of the gaps of the original stage show. They could have cleaned up the large chunks that the audience missed and still made a fun, well made musical. They chose not to and in the end it really really hurt the film. As for the director, I know that the producers wanted to keep the original director attached to the project, but the should have let her go. It was her first major film, and as much as she loved the material, her lack of experience showed. ALOT!
Overall, like I said I liked the movie, I had fun watch most of the musical numbers and it was fun to see Meryl perform in a full movie musical. I just wish that she would have been cast as Ms. Lovett in Sweeney Todd instead...
Mamma Mia! - C