This summer, movie-goers sailed back to the small Mediterranean island of Kalokairi in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again; a unique addition that is both a prequel and a sequel to Mamma Mia! (2008), starring Amanda Seyfried, Dominic Cooper, Julie Walters, Christine Baranski, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, and Stellan Skarsgard. The original cast was joined by Hugh Skinner, Josh Dylan, Jeremy Irvine, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Alexa Davies, and Lily James to portray younger versions of the main cast. Cher also joins the ensemble as Sophie’s eccentric but distant grandmother.
Some casting choices were questionable; Firth can’t dance to save his life, Brosnan can’t carry a tune at all, and Skarsgard was hard to understand, but the actors’ charm and attitude certainly makes up for a lack of ability.
As one Westfield resident says, “The actors were what made the movie. Anyone else would have given it a completely different feel.”
The characters danced and jived to popular ABBA tunes, including “Super Trouper,” “I Have a Dream,” a heartwarming version of “My Love, My Life,” and of course, “Mamma Mia,” while filling in gaps from the previous movie and renovating the now-dilapidated hotel that the main character, Sophie’s mother Donna, played by Meryl Streep (“Into the Woods,” “The Post”), had started when settling on the island. As she navigates life without her mother for the first time, she must deal with balancing her work and personal life, while also trying to avoid repeating Donna’s mistakes.
Meanwhile, in 1979, a young Donna graduates from Oxford in style with her own rendition of “When I Kissed The Teacher” and sets out to explore the world. Throughout her travels, she meets three men who later become possible-fathers to Sophie (Seyfried).
Even without prior knowledge, the plot was easy to follow along. Though it sounds a bit confusing, the jumps between past and present were done well enough that they still made sense. It is not a “profound” movie by any stretch, but if you are looking for a pleasant, feel-good flick for a night-in, this is the one for you.
Not only does the movie contain fun, slightly out-of-date pop songs applied to an unusual plot, but also provides refreshing, relatable comedy. Baranski and Walters are wonderful sources of comedic one-liners throughout the movie, a personal favorite being “It’s called karma and it’s pronounced ‘Ha!’” Their sharp humor combined with their carefree attitude made them a comedy-match made in heaven.
Sequels typically get a bad rap, and sometimes deservedly so, but Here We Go Again is a pleasant exception. Though sometimes a bit ridiculous, the writers crafted it so that viewers can laugh with the story, not at it. It’s witty humor, clever musical incorporation, and touching moments are sure to enrapture audiences of all tastes.