“May the rest of our lives be the best of our lives.”
Like a big slab of stilton, Mamma Mia! is unbelievably cheesy, but actually quite pleasant. This largely boils down to the endlessly charming performance of Lily James as Donna, a role previously filled by Meryl Streep (who returns here briefly as well). Big platform boots to fill, yet she does so comfortably. Barring the distracting stunt casting of Cher, who rocks up late and unnecessarily pinches focus, the cast is top notch, and certainly nothing short of fully committed. A big shout out in particular to the duo of Julie Walters and Christine Baranski, who together grab all of the funniest moments.
Your level of enjoyment is likely to hinge on just how much you enjoy Abba’s music. Personally, I appreciated a reasonable amount of what was on offer, and at worst found myself indifferent to the remainder of the film’s extravagant numbers. It’s strongest when the music combines with the sentimental core of the story. It might occasionally get itself distracted, but the central message carries weight and is liable to deliver an emotional battering to those deeply enough invested in the Mamma Mia-verse.
Rating (out of 5):