Mamma Mia!

6.51 h 49 min2008X-RayHDRUHDPG-13
The story of a bride-to-be trying to find her real father is told in musical style using hit songs by the popular 1970s band ABBA.
Phyllida Lloyd
Meryl StreepPierce BrosnanColin Firth
ComedyRomanceArts, Entertainment, and Culture
English [CC]
Audio languages
EnglishEnglish [Audio Description]
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Supporting actors
Stellan SkarsgardChristine BaranskiJulie WaltersAmanda SeyfriedDominic CooperRachel McDowallRicardo MontezMia SoteriouPhilip MichaelNiall Buggy
Judy CraymerGary Goetzman
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Content advisory
Alcohol usesmokingfoul languagesexual content
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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4.8 out of 5 stars

26319 global ratings

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  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Stephanie De Pue MurphyReviewed in the United States on November 14, 2008
5.0 out of 5 stars
Songs In the Key of Life
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"Mamma Mia,"a new romantic musical comedy of a film, arrives, bringing joy to many. It is based on the stage play of the same name that was a major international hit, and, ultimately, on the internationally popular music, largely disco-style, of the 1970's Swedish group ABBA. The film, which I'd have to guess mainly appeals to women, older women at that, is a product of women to some degree: written by Catherine Johnson, directed by Phyllida Lloyd. And, as you might expect, it generally has not been popular with mainstream critics, particularly the male ones.

The film is lovely to look at: it's set, as was the stage play, on one of those picturesque Greek islands; and the breathtaking exteriors were filmed on one of them. Interiors, however, and the major setting, Villa Donna, the small resort owned by the major character, Donna Sheridan (Meryl Streep), supposedly on that Greek island, were filmed at Pinewood Studios, England. Some critics have complained about the cinematography, but really, who can carp when it's showing such lovely views? I also found it slightly too long; there was a hard-to-believe moment when I was a little tired of big, pull out all the stops, production numbers.

The plot's simple enough, even silly, and downright illogical and unscientific. Donna, who was a tribute performer back in her day - and ABBA's --largely doing their material, it appears, would be the first to tell you, as she labors in her only moderately successful little resort, that she's a reformed slut. Her daughter, Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried), has, accordingly, never known her father. And Sophie's getting married now to Sky (Dominic Cooper); she wants her father to give her away. So she finds Mom's old diary, identifies the three most likely candidates, and sends them invites: apparently Donna was prescient enough to identify them in her diary not only by their full names, but by what would be their addresses twenty years later. (Pity she didn't identify them by their DNA at the same time; her daughter would have been spared so much uncertainty.) The three men show up: Sam Carmichael (Pierce Brosnan, former James Bond); Harry Bright (the dishy Colin Firth), and Bill Anderson (Stellan Skarsgard, generally considered to be a serious actor, and a good one.) Just to add to the fun, Donna's former singing partners show up too: Tanya (Christine Baranski, an American musical comedy and television performer) and Rosie (Julie Walters, a respected serious British actress). Two of daughter Sophie's friends show up too, the movie's crazy for triads.

Well, these performers have to sing, of course, those ABBA songs. It was obviously no problem for Streep; she appears to be having a great time of it. But then, she's that phenomenon that famed Broadway guru Hal Prince once highly praised, an actress that can sing: and I've seen her sing previously in [[ASIN:B000059XTI Postcards from the Edge]], and [[ASIN:B000H6SXYM A Prairie Home Companion]], among other films. Critics have complained that her "Winner Takes It All" is over baked; if they'd seen the stage show, as I have, they'd know that song functions as what Broadway calls "the 11 o'clock number." That is, the song, near the end of the show that producers rely on to send the audience out humming, and recommending the entertainment to their friends. It's supposed to be powerfully presented, guys. Major complaints about Brosnan's voice, too: we can all agree he'll never be invited to the Metropolitan Opera, but, still, his voice is perfectly adequate to the task. However, the critics have praised Walters' closing number, delivered as the mythical ancient "Fountain of Aphrodite," which Donna's inn is supposedly built over, explodes during a minor earthquake. Walters has a get up on the table, knock `em dead, shake your money maker classic here; and she deserves every syllable of praise she gets.

Basically, despite the attractive and talented young leads, the show functions as an evocative middle-aged romance, of which the media give us too few. This one is really meant for people who were around at the time, dancing to ABBA; something for the girls, in particular: that would be the older girls now. I've seen a TV documentary on ABBA, and all four of the quartet agreed: even while they were recording "Dancing Queen," they knew it would be a monster hit. And it was, and it is still. My favorite scene: as the entire island apparently breaks into that song, a Greek farm woman, no longer young, carrying a heavy load of kindling on her head, thinks about it, decides there's time enough to carry kindling, sets it down and joins the dance. Fellas: throughout life, most women are carrying heavy loads of kindling: and we enjoy the chance to set them down and dance. As various people have said, life is short and death is long: and you'd better dance while you can, little man. Little woman, too. In fact, I've said it before and I'll say it again, Gloria Gaynor's monster, international disco hit, "I Will Survive," functions as an anthem to current day women, well beyond the English-speaking world. And any English-speaking woman who claims not to know it is a liar.

To be sure, rock critics of the day always hated disco, and you still see the odd bumper sticker, "Disco Sucks." Why ever? Well, having the biggest "cojones" was important to those largely male critics, and disco was loved, heavens, by gays. And women, and quite ordinary people, who liked to dance. And the songs said nothing whatever about the state of the world, or Euclidean geometry. Seems to me many of today's movie critics hearken back to these guys. However, very recently, I saw a newspaper article that said medical men had found that people delivering CPR (Cardio pulmonary resuscitation) to people with failing hearts were most successful doing it to the Bee Gees' seminal disco tune "Staying Alive." It helped the rescuers even to be thinking the tune, or singing it to themselves, because, you see, the song has slightly more than 100 beats a minute, and so has the heart. The medical men didn't know the reason, but I do. Because I once saw a documentary about the Australian group, the Bee Gees, generally considered the fathers of disco, who said that they took that beat from the Australian aborigines. That song, folks, is in the key of life.
16 people found this helpful
linda n hutchinsonReviewed in the United States on August 4, 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
A mother's surpressed memories of shared loves come bounding back as guests at her daughter's wedding
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A lovely, spirited romantic movie set in the beauty of Greece- its incredulous mountains and cliffs overlooking the sparkling blue sea looked down upon by bluer than blue skies. Whitewashed buildings made blindingly bright by the sun. The audience arrives at the scene along with the cast of attendees of Donna's daughter's wedding and the music draws us in to be full participants.

Donna had traveled to Greece as a seventeen year old young woman to enjoy a summer of the sights and carefree life there but never returned home - the consequences of casting fate to the wind and loving freely that impetuous summer.

Her light-hearted, free and easy ways of her youth had abruptly ended with that summer. As the movie begins, we learn that she has lived out her life over the past twenty years in financial hardship, having been disowned by her mother when her pregnancy was found out. The three young men with whom she had had romantic encounters that summer had moved on with their lives and never knew of her strife. Having the good fortune of inheriting a goat farm property on a precarious hillside, she has spent all her money and invested her back breaking labor in trying to restore the place into an Inn from which to draw an income. The reality was it was crumbling faster than she could repair it and no amount of whitewash could cover its decline.

What was planned as a simple village wedding ceremony with plenty of food and drink exploded over night into something quite unexpected as the guests begin to arrive and partake in the festivities. Donna is horrified when the three men - one of which was the father of her daughter - arrive on the scene. They had received invitations from her daughter whose deep-seated need to find out who her father overtakes all caution following finding her mother's diary about that summer and decides to invite the three possible "fathers" to her wedding - never really expecting any to come.

This convergence is rounded out by the arrival of Donna's two oldest and dearest friends from her back-in-the-day youth. The friendships of the young bride-to-be and her circle of close friends have their eyes opened to what her mother and friends had experienced in their youth as they provide the entertainment for the "girls only" party the night before the wedding by performing their array of disco songs. The young bride-to-be and her friends and the locals are shocked, but totally taken with the freeing tone those songs projected and the whole place goes crazy with everyone joining in along with the three men watching from the edge of the crowd as their old love, Donna, leads the 'playback" of songs and fun they had each personally shared with her as a young girl some twenty years before in this same breath-taking place.

The ending is a happy one. There is a message we come away with upon leaving the theater. For me it is, "Take time dear girls to form you own set of dreams. Find out who you are, recognize your talents, so that you can choose a career or path that will be the "work" of your life and also the source of what fulfills you outside of a relationship - before the worldly responsibilities of becoming an adult are laid upon you.

Donna had swallowed the shame she felt in becoming an unwed mother. Rebuilding her crumbling property into an Inn became her life. An impossible dream given her financial resources yet she would not give up. Deep inside her, it represented a dream talked about with Sam back in that summer of long ago. A dream she would not let go of despite his no longer being there to share in it. For all its crumbling conditions, it was home for her and her daughter.

To ensure that unlike her, her daughter would find a safe and happy haven in life. The Rules would be followed! Her wings would be lovingly clipped to protect her from flying away to the temptations of inexperienced youth. A lovely wedding to remember, a devoted husband on which to depend BEFORE a baby came on the scene.... all would come to pass by following the "Rules".

While the memories of her daughter and her circle of friends are being formed, Donna's old memories - and those of the three men, come flooding back. They are both whimsical and lighthearted, filled with youthful innocence as they came to know one-another's budding interests and then gave way to their over-powering sexual attractions. Yet the jarring and sobering realities that followed for Donna in how her life had played out after that summer of unfettered fun is unleashed in emotion as she sings, "The Winner Takes It All".

This is definately a "Chick Flick". Men will probably not come away with any of its deeper meaning. So see the movie with your girlfriends instead. Buy the CD and watch it alone to have a good laugh and cry when the load dumped upon your shoulders seems too much. Bring tissues because we women will cry when they see the parallels found in our own lives, others will cry for those in our sisterhood who gave up their young dreams and devoted the balance of their lives to making the most of their own dealt hand of reality. It reminds us of how restorative it is when we connect with our old friends and reminisce about the life journey we shared. But the movie's most important reminder is that there is nothing on earth to equal the deep and abiding connection between a man and a woman in love whose main expression of that love is to allow each to realize their dreams and be the support in those endeavors... It is such love that happens in both Donna's life and her daughter's that makes for the movies happy ending.
One person found this helpful
Older and WiserReviewed in the United States on October 4, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Card game night
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I have a bunch of girl friends and we switch off houses to play cards once a month. Three of the five had never seen Mama Mia. New projector new screen, rented the movie and fun was had by all.
Steve HansonReviewed in the United States on October 26, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
great movement
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very enjoyable
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on October 21, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great Movie- one of our favorites!
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Loved the movie!
Dave LandReviewed in the United States on October 8, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Exactly what I needed
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Was delivered so quick and in perfect condition. Exactly what I needed. Used in English class.
GabbyReviewed in the United States on October 2, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Love this movie and music
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All of us girls were dancing around singing the songs. We love this movie ..classic
ROBERT P SETNICKERReviewed in the United States on September 28, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
if you like abba songs, it's perfect
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i love listening to this video every week. love the songs!
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