Special Event

Mamma Mia: Rain date!

When: Sat., July 25 2009

The rain has come and washed the ABBA away. But don't fear: It'll return Saturday night! Same ABBA time, same ABBA channel--er, place. We will make the weather call at 2pm tomorrow. Stay tuned to the radio, Facebook, the alFresco website or my voicemail for the weather decisio This is exactly the kind of movie that drives audiences to label critics as whiny, stuffy and out-of-touch, because you can bet many will deride this adaptation of the massively popular ABBA stage musical. We'll probably write that the story of a girl (Amanda Seyfried, the murdered teen from the first season of Veronica Mars) trying to discover which of the three men (Stellan Skarsgård, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth) her mother (Meryl Streep) bedded back in the day is her father is a pretty thin premise to connect karaoke renditions of dozens of '70s pop/disco classics. We'll likely grouse about the chaotic pace, the jarring transitions between the film's Greek locations and poorly lit studio sets, and the marquee actors mangling the songs (no more musicals for you, Mr. Brosnan). But if we do, we'll be ignoring a lively, inter-generational, inclusive romp, crammed with tunes people adore, even the lesser-known gems, like the melancholy "Slipping Through My Fingers," originally on ABBA's brilliant swan song LP, The Visitors. And it would be criminal not to appreciate La Streep, who has an absolute ball on screen. Well, allow me to concede. How does the song go? Something like, "at Waterloo, Napoleon did surrender...and I have met my destiny in quite a similar way." - Carsten Knox

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