Do not read this if you intend on seeing the movie. But don’t see it because it was awful.
by Claire Nunez
In case you don’t know me, I am an ABBA and Mamma Mia! fanatic. I’ve known all of the lyrics to “Dancing Queen” since I was five. I saw the musical on Broadway once and at local theaters too many times to even remember. And I have totally seen the original movie at least 30 times…in the past year– what can I say? I am wild about 70s outfits in Greece. It would only be natural for me to go see the sequel, right?
I went to the movies with my best friend to see Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again several weeks after it came out because I wanted to play it cool. I am glad I did. It was awful and I, the self-proclaimed Mamma Mia! expert will tell you why:
1. Donna went to college? And not only college…Oxford?
Donna Sheridan. The one we all know and love went to Oxford and graduated top of her class as valedictorian. Okay, well there is really no evidence against this in the first film, but it seems a bit out of character. Donna is a bit of a flake and well, the fact that she sang “When I Kissed the Teacher” is also insane. How did no one just stop her? She then kissed the dean or chancellor or whatever?! What the hell?! Just watch for yourself and see how absurd it is. This is when I fell off the sequel train:
2. Donna is dead.
No one knows how she died, but also no one seems to really be that sad? Like Sophie is really hecking sad, but at the same time…she built a resort in the ONE YEAR after her mother DIED. How did she do that? I know Sam is an architect, but the two of them really managed to put the whole thing together in that short of a time span? I don’t know, man. It seems fishy. Was there a weird insurance plot where they KILLED Donna to get the funding to restore the resort? Possibly. I will not count that out.
3. Why did the resort close anyway?
Really, why did Donna’s hotel need to be restored? It was assumed after the first film that Donna and Sam would get their shit together and fix the damn hotel. They had ten years to get it done and they couldn’t accomplish that? What kind of architect is he? The kind that would murder his wife…I am guessing.
4. Sophie and Sky never left.
In the first movie and the original play, these two lovebirds didn’t get married because they wanted to travel the world. Maybe they did for a few months, and came back, but this film doesn’t give that impression. I got that Sophie never wanted to leave her mother and what she created. Sweet, but maybe this was all a part of her grand, murderous scheme. She totally stayed to TAKE OVER THE HOTEL.
5. Everything about Donna and these men is wrong!
Okay, not all of them, but at least Harry’s part. So Donna and Harry met in Paris, right? They did have some time along the Seine; however, they did have time on the little Greek island too. He also gave her a guitar– but did it happen? In the sequel, Harry never made it to the island. He missed the ferry! And he never got there with a guitar! RIP Harry and Donna! Well, we did find out in the first film that he eventually found his true self.
In regards to Sam and Bill, a lot of this would make sense. Bill and his boat. Sam and his fiancée. It all works, ya know? No, I don’t know. Donna met Sam first, then Bill, then Harry. Sorry, get it fricken’ right.
6. The original ABBA dudes make some cameos.
Only a true fan would realize this, but the original composers, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson were in the film. They look very ABBA also. One is in “Waterloo” and I still can’t find the other…keep an eye out for me.
7. Everyone has the same haircut.
I know this is to provide the audience with something to easily recognize the characters by, but really? Tanya keeps her bangs for her entire life? That is something that is really unheard of. It is hard to maintain bangs, but hey girl, you keep on doing you.
8. Sophie’s pregnancy
At the end of the movie, Sophie is just casually puking from morning sickness, one would assume. After she lifts her head, she says something along the lines of “this can only mean one thing”. Uh yeah? You ate some bad baklava. Well no, it means she’s pregnant. She literally tells everyone she’s pregnant. If that was me, I would’ve just assumed it was food poisoning until I actually gave birth. Sorry, but it was totally the moussaka.
This is the biggest no for me. I love Cher. She is my idol, a true icon and just everything, but her story doesn’t make sense. First of all, Cher plays Donna’s mother, who is dead. Yes, Donna’s mother is supposed to be dead. She is not supposed to be in the picture at all. This is evidenced by several lines in the first film. Donna clearly says “someone up there has it out for me” and Tanya replies: “probably your mother.” Her mother is DEAD!!! The fact that Cher has a character to play at all baffles me. Maybe this was all a part of the murderous plot as well. Maybe Cher isn’t Donna’s mother! Maybe she is secretly getting some of the hotel’s revenue and she wants the rest of it…omg she showed up to murder everyone else. Oh no.
The other thing: Cher is amazing and all she sings is “Fernando”? Like they had that hotel manager in the movie just for this? I was stunned. That was just cheesy! I think I rolled my eyes super hard at that. I saw it coming about 10 minutes in.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was the biggest disappointment I have (almost) ever experienced. I cannot believe I wasted my hard earned money on that film. It was just so flawed and ugh. The music wasn’t even that great. Cher was the only redeeming quality in my book. Whatever. I guess the moral of the story is: be careful for the sequels you wish for.