Mama Mia 2: Strong Women Having Fun in Greece!
You can fault the ingredients of Mama Mia. Great music we already know, the stunning scenery of the Greek islands, fun scripts and actors who know their craft. So, we were very excited to see the follow up, Mama Mia Here We Go Again, this week.
Spoiler alert now, but I’m sure that everyone knows that Donna has died. This movie has very much of a Godfather 2 approach. It runs two stories in parallel, that of Sophie, Donna’s daughter, and also Donna as a young woman. There are spooky parallels in their life that allow Sophie to really appreciate her mother and feel even closer despite her not being around. Not to mention the tear inducing duet between Sophie and what is the spirit of her dead mother at the end. We dare you to stay dry eyed.
Despite this, the film still feels fun and vibrant for the majority of the time. The dads are back, looking slightly more crinkly. In comparison, Donna’s friends, Tanya and Rosie, are as feisty as ever. Some of the songs are new, but you’ll also hear some from the first Mama Mia, but sang by different cast members. In fact, one of the huge charms of Mama Mia is watching how they manage to bring the songs into the script. There are some quite hilarious moments caused by this, not least the rendition of Waterloo in a Paris bistro.
What has Mama Mia Here We Go Again got to do with strong women and confidence I hear you say? It’s a pure joy to watch the story of Donna as she escaped from a future with her dragon of a mother (who later appears, played by Cher), and carve out her own life on this stunning Greek island. Yes, it’s fantasy and fun and just a story, but the more we see women around us doing …well, just what they damn well want to do, then it the more it permeates our culture. I don’t think it’s too late for any of us, if you still have your health, to go off on adventures. This is the story of both Donna’s and Sophie’s adventure, accompanied by her three beaus/dads of course.
One lovely aspect is that Sophie has revamped the hotel , now La Bella Donna, in Donna’s memory. The whole story resonates with feel good values: loving our family, carrying on a legacy (or creating one), celebrating life and our friends. The film Chocolat has a similar feel, especially when Vianne throws a party of Armande in her garden and then onto Roux’s boat.
Poignantly, it turns out to be her last night alive, but at least she has gone out in a way that makes her happy. Nothing can beat celebrating something special with friends and family and this second Mama Mia has that feel throughout.