Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Last weekend I gave Mamma Mia! The Movie another chance. And my reaction remains the same: given the flimsiest of a plot, it behooves the filmmakers to make the rest of the elements of the movie exceptional so as to make the whole film fly. Unfortunately, stage and screen have different languages, and something was lost in the translation.

There is an unbridled joy in the performances, and the songs are really what fuel the whole movie—they add so much zip and energy, people are just Abbamboozled by the songs. Given that these songs are so familiar and indestructible, the movie experience works for most viewers.

I, however, am immune to the songs of Abba. Not because I’m a non-fan; on the contrary, it is precisely because I’m so familiar with 95% of their songs, including the non-hits (I know the second-voice lyrics to “Knowing Me, Knowing You”). Thus, while everyone’s going gaga over them, I can let them enter one ear and exit the other, and look at everything else. And what I saw didn’t tickle, much less impress, me much.

I remember after watching it the first time with my family, my sister—who is rarely critically sophisticated in her reactions to movies—simply said, “Ang ganda ng lugar!” and left it at that. ‘Nuff said.


E said...

hehehehe...i had a feeling its a lousy film..gess i was u know where i can get cinemalya movies? hilig din ako sa mga pelikula e..

joelmcvie said...

@E: Because Cinemalaya has just officially ended last Sunday, I doubt if any of the films already have distributors who will produce and market them in DVD/VCD. Malamang some of the really popular Cinemalaya movies (I think "Jay" and "100" are shoo-ins) will have commercial theater runs.

JR said...

I had a great time watching Mama Mia on the big screen. After watching it twice on Broadway, it transformed viewers into a magical place with a catchy songs and dance. I thought Meryl Streep gave her tour de force performance in singing "Winners takes it all",as well as the rest of the cast. Although the singing werent as great with the male actors, you can tell they tried their best doing justice to the fans of ABBA. This was a perfect summer movie.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jr.

Saw it also on broadway. And the big screen. I love them both.

May not be fair to compare the two. Just seeing Meryl and Pierce sing makes the P150 ticket worthy enough. Of course, I need not mention the spectacular cinematography. I like Meryl's version of "Slipping through My Fingers, and Winner Takes It All" than broadway's.

On the other hand, audience's excitement and participation is definitely lacking. It is true that audience in broadway were literally dancing through "Super Trooper, Mamma Mia, and Dancing Queen". And there was a loud gasp from the audience at the very first, unexpected line of Winner Takes It All.


PS. Please confirm...they say all Robinson Theatres have "lyrics on the screen"...while Greenbelt, rockwell, do not. I do not know if this is good or bad as an experience, since audience daw were singing along to the tunes. Lol.

joelmcvie said...

Well, as I said, Abbamboozled.

movie buff said...

I was coerced into seeing Mamma Mia (the play), which ended up being great... as for the movie version, sounds fun, though it's awkward to think of ol' Pierce trying to sing, yeeesh