1. I don't think Americans are the only ones who cherish their pets as part of the family; the Brits are pretty pet crazy, too. And, sorry, Marco, but I would have to insist that my dear, departed Bogart and my Emma are, at the very least, more loving and warm beings than are, say, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush (certainly smarter than the latter).
2. One can use the word cancer, not as a joke, but as a corollary; to describe something as being a "cancer on society" has a long history. This is very different than trying to use AIDS as a cheap shot against a superfluous film.
3. Momma Mia! is clearly oriented towards the audience that would most embrace ABBA in the first place: women and gay men. This is what is threatening to straight men--most of the professional critics--and that such an attitude has seeped into this board is disappointing and even heartbreaking.
No, Momma Mia! isn't great art, but it knows its audience and does precisely what that audience wants to experience: women bonding during the preparations for a wedding (for the female viewers) and shirtless men dancing around the Greek islands (for the gay male viewers).
It's thoroughly ridiculous, yet I can't recall the last time I had such a giddy, joyful experience sharing a movie with an audience; we laughed, we hummed along, we cringed in laughing horror at Pierce Brosnan's singing, we even cried during the mother-daughter bonding scenes.
Maybe I'm getting less resistant to Meryl Streep as I get older, but I loved her in this film; she's just fearless here, throwing caution to the wind to just have a good time; yet, amazingly, she manages to bring some depth to the proceedings: ya gotta hand it to a dame who can turn the already anthemic "The Winner Takes It All" and turn it into a devastating portrait of bitterness and long-simmering hurt.
Poor Pierce! His acting is adequate, and he certainly tries, but, ouch, they really shouda dubbed his singing. The rest of the cast is in fine form, especially Amanda Seyfried, who I hope continues to shine in the future.
Phyllida Lloyd's direction lurches about--sometimes it's spot on (the aforementioned "Winner," as well as "Lay All Your Love On Me" and Christine Baranski's hilarious "Does Your Mother Know?"), other times it's sloppy, too slap dash ("Dancing Queen," which should be a show-stopper, works in spite of Lloyd's restless lensing, thanks to the energetic cast).
And, really, how can one fault a film that gets an audience of Republican women in a small town in Florida to get all misty-eyed and sigh "awwwww" when two men dance shirtless, wet and in love? You can't.
Edited By Penelope on 1216434616
"...it is the weak who are cruel, and...gentleness is only to be expected from the strong." - Leo Reston
"Cruelty might be very human, and it might be cultural, but it's not acceptable." - Jodie Foster