Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beating the winter blues

Here in Indianapolis, we haven't seen the sun in several days - maybe a week. January has been incredibly dreary so far, and there really hasn't been that much to blog about. But last night we saw a movie on DVD that transported us to a beautiful Greek island and made us all want to sing and dance. I laughed until I cried. The movie was Mamma Mia!

It was our first time seeing the movie. To be honest, I wasn't all that interested in seeing it when it was in the theaters last summer. I'd seen the stage version of Mamma Mia! and I simply could not imagine Meryl Streep in the role of Donna. I felt she was too old for the role and I wasn't sure about her ability to sing. But she pulled it off quite well, I think.

Amanda Seyfried, whom we in this house know well from HBO's Big Love, was adorable as Donna's daughter Sophie. She has an "innocence" about her that was totally right for the role, and if that was really her singing voice, then Girlfriend can sing. 

I was a little shocked with Pierce Brosnan's voice (was that really him singing?), but it was hard not to like him as one of Donna's former boyfriends. Stellan Skarsgard was the obvious choice for the Swedish former beau, and it was refreshing to see him a role where he could be funny. I love Colin Firth in just about anything, but was a little disappointed that his character's secret wasn't revealed as obviously in the movie as it was in the musical version. 

But by far, my favorite character was Rosie - played by English actress Julie Walters. She totally cracked me up, especially the "Take a Chance On Me" scene. It seems to me that she stole the show in the same way that Stockard Channing's Rizzo stole Grease back in 1978.

Of course, it's all about the music, and twenty-four hours after watching Mamma Mia! I'm still singing ABBA songs. It's funny to me that when I was growing up, ABBA had one hit after another, but I never realized until the past few years that they were probably the most famous musical act in the world after The Beatles. We now laugh at the "outlandish" costumes worn by musical acts of the 1960s and 1970s. I was thinking today that everyone from the Osmonds to the O'Jays used to wear costumes when they performed. Oh, those were the days.

Anyway, Mamma Mia! was so much fun, I decided to order a copy from Amazon.com today (I also ordered Grease). And I hereby resolve to loosen up and have some fun. That's the best way to beat the winter blues!