WHAT I LIKED: You'd think that trying to squeeze a narrative film from ABBA's existing pop classics would be a ridiculous exercise, and that putting a whole bunch of Oscar-winning actors on an island to fulfill that and letting them have the time of their lives wouldn't make for particularly refined entertainment, and frankly you'd be absolutely right assuming both of those things. The thing is though, if you let your critical brain lie, the energy with which all of that ridiculousness is brought to life in Phyllida Lloyd's 'Mamma Mia,' makes for an absolutely, whole-heartedly infectious experience that will sweep you up in its bizarre charm from start to finish. Yes this really is a relentless film that slaps you round the face with its cheesy energy from the off as we meet a young Amanda Seyfried giggling and laughing with her girlfriends to the tune of "hunny hunny," and before you know it the natural grimace this creates soon turns into a grin. Then, when Meryl Streep enters the picture delivering renditions of Abba's greatest hits with all the feeling that she'd pronounce lines of Shakespeare, the joy turns into comical disbelief and just when you think it can't get any more ridiculous, Stellan Skarsgard, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth turn up to join the fun. On paper then it does all sound completely terrible, but the thing is there's just such an endearing and hilarious thing about watching all of these incredible performers have a ball with something so stupid, and by the half an hour mark, you'll surely either be hating its guts or truly on board with it. I was most certainly feeling the latter, and as a result I found myself occasionally affected by the ridiculous narrative and always smiling with a mix of joy and disbelief in the fact that this insanely ridiculous film ever got made. I'm sure as hell glad that it did, but I do most definitely understand those who disagree.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: There's no getting away from it, it is completely idiuclous.
VERDICT: A preposterous film that squeezes a narrative from Abba's greatest hits and lets a group of incredible actors have a ball with it, 'Mamma Mia,' may be ridiculous, but its energy is infectious, and I for one rather love it.