Mamma Mia: Laughable, For the Wrong Reasons

Elle Mohs

The popular summer release Mamma Mia, directed by Phyllida Lloyd, was a cute, peppy musical, but definitely one of the worst to hit the big screen in a while. Musicals are supposed to have a little spunkiness to them unlike the normal romantic comedy, but this musical was so cheesy and fake that it was hard not to laugh.

The storyline didn’t change much from the original play script, which was good, but the musical numbers were way too overdone. Viewers feel as if they are dreaming because every musical number seems so unrealistic. The benefit of turning Broadway musicals into movies is the director can make the more difficult dance and music scenes more realistic, dynamic, and creative, but unfortunately Lloyd did not take advantage of this benefit while filming.

In the music number, “Lay All Your Love On Me,” the lead love interests, Dominic Cooper and Amanda Seyfried, sing a romantic song on the beach. Out of nowhere dozens of muscular men wearing Speedos, snorkels, and flippers skip in unison across a nearby dock completely ruining the intimacy of the scene.

The singing was adequate by most of the actors, but it was very clear that it was the actors’ own voices singing throughout the film. Although the singing was bearable, some songs could have been cut. There were more songs than there were lines, which made the movie seem longer than it actually was. It seemed as though Lloyd had to squeeze in some of the songs which made certain scenes seem a little choppy.

The movie was shot in Skopelos, Greece, which was absolutely gorgeous. The location ultimately became the most entertaining part of the film. The aqua blue, crystal clear ocean, the exotic plants, the landscape, and the intricate design of all the buildings added a vibrant, exciting feel to the whole film.

There are particular musicals where the movie is better than the original play, but Mamma Mia is definitely a production that belongs on the Broadway stage, not in the movie theaters.