Mamma Mia! is so bad I want to hang myself

by Ben

I’d enjoy beginning with a bit of a disclaimer: yes, I did indeed remove my testicles and lay them safely on a shelf during my two hours with this faux-film extravaganza. No worries though, I’ve successfully reattached them and I’m more than ready to warn any other man-bits owner about the perils of Mamma Mia (EXCITEMENT!!!!). I realize it’s relatively dated and about $600 million American worth of viewers have been lured into its poison-laced fangs already, but for those of you who remain safe and unscarred, take heed (or wear a titanium-plated sports cup throughout).

In times like these, it’s painfully obvious why certain celebrities are in one line of work or another; for example, why Meryl Streep is an “actress” and Michael Jackson was a child molester (oooh, too soon? Lick my furry nutsac then beat yourself thoroughly with a flaming tire iron). Occasionally, some stars are actually talented enough to cross over and do a Broadway stint or pop out a handful of records (especially prevalent with the preteen Disney-induced female crowd). Most, however unfortunately, are given the golden opportunity to prove their hybrid prowess but instead deliver a sordid shovel full of collected used condoms from Hugh Hefner’s trash bin to the faces of audience members willing to test the lukewarm waters of studio musicals. In fact, I’d rather go for a dip in an Olympic-sized pool crammed with previously owned cock gloves donated by a traveling band of HIV patients than suffer through all the atrocities that are Mamma Mia!

Perhaps the worst and most immediate transgression committed is the obvious and liberal use of lip synching and voice overs. Most [absurdly-timed] dance numbers commence with some variation of a fifteen second acoustic gurgling by the offending star before breaking out into gargantuan productions complete with ungodly volumes of creeptastic backup dancers (no doubt graduates of the Neverland Academy for Aspiring Infant Bumpers). The first ten to fifteen seconds are clearly the work of the actors and actresses, but when the full orchestra rumbles into gear, the switch to lip synching is shockingly abrupt; so much so that I had a hard time focusing on the lyrics for the sake of ROLFing too hard. While each song might be the product of the “talent” -and Pierce Brosnan certainly provided his own voice- they are digitally doctored far past the point of disbelief. At the ripe age of 736, it is a metaphysical impossibility that Meryl Streep is able to belt out chords on par with that ugly British bimbo and Beyonce, much less frolic about like Richard Simmons on speed.

Which leads to my next point of this one-sided debate: “dancing.” If choreography were an easy task,  musicals would undoubtedly be more of a mainstream attraction instead of the equivalent to a coming-out dinner with mum and pops. All the same,  a paraplegic child strapped to puppeteering instruments and jerked around to “Blue” by Eiffel 65 would have been more professional -and light years more entertaining- than Mamma Mia‘s excuse. Every time the Streepster or Amanda Seyfried (who looks more Plastic than ever these days) start prancing around and the backup dancers stream in from all corners of the miniscule Greek island (there must be some sort of underground work colony where they are stored), any momentum the film might have otherwise gained instantly evaporates into misery. Supplemented with costumes thieved from the set of Marie Antoinette (no, not a compliment), these sequences make sitting through Jack Frost in slow motion a far more favourable endeavor.

Even if those elements were stripped and Mamma Mia was presented as a normalised romantic comedy, it would fail to tread water past the opening credits. Only Pierce Brosnan and Amanda Seyfried present quasi-believable characters (given the pretense) and all others come across as trite, annoying, cliched, and/or downright offensive. Streeptacula’s two Golden Girl sidekicks were unquestionably written in so the film would further appeal with the 60+ female crowd; however, seeing these three -who are old enough to have mothered Abraham Lincoln- flounce around and lip synch already-atrocious tunes is more comical than Michael Phelps failing at the 200 breast stroke.

By no merit does Mamma Mia make a satisfying or tolerable experience. It’s not a good musical, it’s not a good romantic comedy (given that it’s neither romantic nor comedic), and it’s most definitely not a good film. Unless you’re clamouring for a shitty and total waste of your time and money, give Mamma Mia a very wide berth.

Conclusion: If you’re one of the assgaskets who made Mamma Mia the 42nd highest grossing film of all time, shame on you