Every weird, unbelievable and downright stupid moment from the Mamma Mia movies
WHAT is happening in Voulez-Vous?
Okay, here’s a disclaimer: I love the Mamma Mia films. I love ABBA. I’ve seen Mamma Mia on the West End, and it was amazing. I saw Mamma Mia 2 in the cinema three times. THREE. I am not anti-Mamma Mia. In fact I have a firmly pro-Mamma Mia stance.
HOWEVER. It is a bit weird sometimes, isn’t it? To use my favourite quote from the first film: “It’s very Greek.” And of course it’s going to be odd – you’re throwing Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Julie Walters and ABBA together (with a hint of Cher). Now that both Mamma Mia and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again are back on Netlfix, it’s just the excuse we need for a lockdown rewatch of the hit musicals.
But when I’m rewatching these films, there are times when I just can’t suspend my disbelief, and other times it’s just plain strange. Everyone has noticed it, but nobody says anything. Not anymore. It really pains me to write this, but here are all the weird things that happen in Mamma Mia that NOBODY says anything about.
Alright, WHAT?! What is even happening in this scene? Okay, we’ve got a Stag Do and a Hen Party, but the one thing that any Stag Do is built on is the fact that it’s the bachelor’s “last night of freedom” – they would not crash a Hen Party. It wouldn’t happen.
Regardless, they crash the party in the creepiest way. They literally climb up the walls and swing in from ropes – it’s like a really thirsty mash between Pirates of the Caribbean and Spider-Man, and I don’t like it. It’s weird. Oh, and then all the women decide it’s normal to tie up two middle-aged men. Don’t get me wrong, I’d happily tie up Colin Firth, BUT it’s still weird, isn’t it?
Donna sleeping with Harry
Donna, a woman who is clearly bright, sharp and confident goes off travelling on her own after graduation – fair enough, pretty admirable. Then comes along Harry; a stranger in a French hotel who speaks appalling French, and happens to be doing the worst impression of Colin Firth. Anyway, for some reason they have a little wander around Paris (Donna, he could be a murderer, you don’t KNOW) and end up at a lovely little restaurant. Harry then proceeds to just ask Donna to sleep with him. Now, if she didn’t have a soft spot for him, this would be really, really, really weird. As it stands, she thinks he’s okay, so this isn’t weird at all, apparently? Strange. Strange strange strange.
The Winner Takes it All
This scene isn’t so much weird as just awkward. To give her credit, Meryl Streep absolutely belts out this ABBA classic, and she nails it completely. The weirdness comes from Pierce Brosnan just standing there and taking it. They say that acting is all about REacting, and there isn’t much reaction from him here. And what reaction do you give to someone who’s singing this song at you? It’s weird. It’s a pretty emotional scene, with Donna laying her heart on the line, but when you think about it then it’s just odd.
And then she absolutely legs it up a massive hill, doesn’t even break a sweat by the time she’s at the top. And she’s in heels. What a woman.
Just everything to do with Pierce Brosnan
Firstly, getting an ex-007 into a musical was probably one of the weirdest ideas in Hollywood. Secondly, forcing the poor bloke to sing? EVERYONE slates him for his singing, but it’s impossible not to. I love Pierce Brosnan. He’s my favourite Bond. But c’mon, don’t make him sing. He’s just shouting the lyrics. You can see the pain in the poor man’s eyes when he’s singing. You really can.
Lay All Your Love on Me
You know that if the guys with flippers hadn’t come to cockblock Skye on the beach, then he and Sophie were about to get down and dirty in the sand there, right? A public beach. In the broad daylight. FILTH.
Just the way that they are together in this scene is really weird. Somehow in the rest of the film during the songs the cast manage to make things look a bit natural, but in this scene it’s just off. My skin crawls every time Dominic Cooper lies Amanda Seyfriend on her back. Thank God for the guys in flippers, that’s all I have to say on the matter. Eurgh.
That scene where Bill and Rosie are climbing the rooftops
When Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again rolled into cinemas we all found out that Rosie had been doting on Bill since before Sophie was born. So she had, in her own way, loved him for as long as Sam loved Donna, right? Aww, isn’t that sweet?
Well, no, not really. Clearly Bill doesn’t have eyes for Rosie initially, and only does once it’s clear that Donna is only interested in Sam. So in the 20 years between the films, Bill hasn’t had a second thought about Rosie, and yet she is able to seduce him in the space of one song? Admittedly, Julie Walters steals the show with Take A Chance on Me, BUT come on. She has literally worn him down over the course of 20 years.
She’s a national treasure though, so it’s fine, I guess.
Donna at university
For no reason whatsoever we are treated to an Americanised version of Oxford University, but it doesn’t seem too far from the mark.
However, the timings just don’t add up here. Donna graduates from New College, Oxford in 1979, according to the film. But New College only accepted women in 1979. So Donna completed her entire degree in one year? Well, she’s bloody smashed it then, hasn’t she? No wonder she grows up to be Meryl Streep.
At the end of the day, Mamma Mia is a beloved musical series, and it’s going nowhere – I’m going to keep on loving it, warts and all. I just probably won’t be able to watch it in the same way again. Ah well, that’s the name of the game.