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Sophie, who was raised by single mother, Donna, on a small island off Greece, is about to get married when she finds her mother’s diary and discovers that her mother had affairs with 3 men one of whom might be her father. Sophie invites all 3 men to her wedding, expecting to immediately feel a connection to her father when she sees him, but finds much more when she finally meets Sam, Harry, and Bill.
Or… Donna is a single mother living and running a hotel on a small island off Greece, when, along with the other guests, the 3 men with whom she had affairs, one of which is her daughter’s father, arrive unexpectedly on the island the day before her daughter’s wedding. There are really 2 stories happening here, one is that of a daughter trying to find herself and the other of a mother facing the mistakes of her past, all set to the glam rock of ABBA’s hits from the ’70s.
Sometimes I wish I could go back and re-watch a movie for the first time just to record my initial thoughts, and sometimes I have the same reaction each time I watch a movie. This is one of the latter. Although I am not a particular fan of Colin Firth (he’s not typically in my preferred genre films) or Pierce Brosnan (who dabbles pretty much in every genre), I do always manage to get swept up right at the beginning of this film. Being so familiar with the music, I’m sure, is a big part of it.
This is really not my usual sort of thing, so it feels a bit awkward to express enthusiasm, though I am rather enthusiastic about how well this movie is put together. The casting is fantastic, I am particularly a fan of Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, and Dominic Cooper. I like that everything appears to be deliberate and have a purpose, the choreography and the way everything moves and the way the background cast is so integral a part in telling the story yet the main cast doesn’t always see them. I especially enjoy the unapologetic disregard for age and body style in the supporting/background cast. I don’t even care how preposterous the end is, that is deliberate, too.
I gave this 5 glasses of wine. This movie succeeds in what it is intended to be … silly, sappy, satirical, and fun.