Daily Chick Flick: Mamma Mia!  

When I was in high school I took a class called music theory, in which we were supposed to learn about the structure of notes, intervals, and so on. Now keep in mind I have no musical inclinations whatsoever, and only took the class because I needed an extra elective and heard this one was a joke. I had assumed this to be correct because everyone knew that the music teacher was a creepy drunk. What I hadn't counted on, however, was what exactly it was that made the curriculum so easy. We spent the majority of class time watching movies. Not just any movies, but musicals. All the Rodgers and Hammerstein classics, Phantom of the Opera, even Disney movies. And since he was required to grade something, the guy actually quizzed us on them, forcing me to pay attention. Because of or maybe in spite of this, I've never been able to appreciate musicals, even when judging them based solely on what they are (the live-action musicals that is, Disney's Hercules is the shit). I will admit to thinking that a lot of the older actors such as Yul Bryner and Gene Kelly had real class, even if they were a bunch of dancy-twirly homos.

I give you this background as to make clear that Mamma Mia! is hardly the first musical I've ever seen. Normally I would follow that statement up with an "unfortunately," but had I not developed a callous to the genre so many years ago, it's exceedingly possible that I would have jammed my head into the fireplace within the first 15 minutes of the film. Oh, and one more dark confession -- I actually like a couple of ABBA songs. What? They had great harmony. Regardless of all the he-bitch training I've had, Mamma Mia! was intolerable. I can barely stand to type its name, especially the smug fucking exclamation point at the end of it. Which is why I'll henceforth be referring to it as MSitA, or Meryl Streep is the Antichrist.

The premise of the movie is just as retarded as you'd expect from one that was crafted around a collection of songs from the 70's. In it, the dumb blonde from Mean Girls reads her mother's old diary and learns that she has three possible fathers, because her mother was an impetuous whore in her youth. So what does she do? Call up Maury Povich like a normal person would? Of course not. She invites all three to her wedding under the guise that her mother, played by Streep, wants to see them again. Is it any wonder why all men have a latent fear of women who create drama?

I'm at this weird place when trying to articulate my feelings about MSitA. It's as if I just emerged from a 3-day hostage situation and am still in shock. So traumatized by it that I can vividly recount what happened down to the last detail, but my emotions blacked-out early on in an act of self-preservation and my soul remains on life support. It's only been a few hours since I left the corner of my basement, where I was curled up in a fetal position soiling myself. Although I do recall one feeling now... about... the music. Oh the awful, so very awful music. Pierce Brosnan shouldn't ever be allowed to sing. He was James Bond, man. Fucking Bond belting out ABBA and dancing like a princess. I mean, Colin Firth I get, but you Bond? Why!?!? There were so many songs too. I've never watched a musical with that much music. Five minutes of song, to every two minutes of dialogue, nonstop. The only upside to any of this is the $1,000 it saved me on a vasectomy.

Instead of tying a neat little bow on things like I usually do in this final paragraph, let me offer you these words of advice. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU EVER WATCH THIS MOVIE. Do whatever it takes. If someone has a gun to your grandmother's head, and it's either her life or you sitting down to enjoy this film while being blown by 2 women and a third feeding you bacon and Oreos, the only reasonable course of action is to ensure Gram-Grams has made her peace with God. 5 pink tacos, plus one intensive electroshock therapy session.

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14 Reasons to Live

  • Anonymous  
    May 9, 2009 at 11:07 AM

    That second to last paragraph is just a typical day for me. I saw the live action version of mamma mia. The music is fine/good but the intertwining stuff was pretty surprisingly, actively bad. Like you said there's just not anything you could do to make an excuse to sing 90 random songs that won't be mindbogglingly stupid, though.

  • Christie  
    May 9, 2009 at 12:03 PM

    Just so you all know how seriously Jay is taking this, he would not forward or mute the movie during the constant singing. I begged, I pleaded, I offered many forms of sexual gratification if he would just make this movie stop. And he denied it all for you guys. The only thing that made this better was the alcohol and vicodin chaser. I was able to pass out through some of it.

  • Anonymous  
    May 9, 2009 at 12:58 PM

    I enjoyed the Broadway show, but the movie was bad. Meryl and Pierce both can't sing.

  • Diane  
    May 9, 2009 at 1:00 PM

    For what it's worth, I think Yul and Gene were actually straight. I even saw Yul on stage in the King and I in London in about 1980.

    Thanks to you (and Christie) for taking one for the team, and watching this so the rest of us don't have to.

  • shine  
    May 9, 2009 at 1:51 PM

    Oh nooooooo. I can't believe you watched this. This is not a chick flick, this is worse than Chinese Water Torture.

    I haven't seen it, I won't see, I even turned off my television every time a commercial about it came on.

    One of my friends tried to tell me I should watch it. We're no longer friends.

    I feel for you, Christie. And I restate my earlier hope that you're cool with being in a lesbian relationship when this is all over.

  • Jen  
    May 9, 2009 at 5:16 PM

    I'm with you on your regard for musicals. Musicals=hurk!

    And yet I still tried to watch this movie. Granted, I paid no money to watch what little I did see. I used the internet to hurt my ears/watch like five minutes of this horsecrap.

  • Jesslyn  
    May 9, 2009 at 5:21 PM

    Taking one for the team in this situation is an understatement. You two are martyrs.

  • Anonymous  
    May 9, 2009 at 8:01 PM

    My sister and I rented this one awhile ago about 5 minutes in we were staring at each other wondering who would break first. And I LIKE chick flicks...and musicals. This was just painful to watch.

  • Anonymous  
    May 10, 2009 at 1:43 AM

    I agree, it's awful. But it can't possibly be any worse than Ghosts of Girlfriends Past that I saw last night. I do occasionally like chick flicks, a bit of frothy and lighthearted nonsense, but this was the worse thing I've ever seen in my life. Surely they could have made more of it. Didn't laugh once, and about twenty minutes in I was contemplating leaving, and that I actually stayed is probably evidence of deeply masochistic tendencies.

  • Anonymous  
    May 10, 2009 at 2:54 AM

    Worse than 13 or bring it on? Or even batman and robin?

  • jb  
    May 10, 2009 at 6:55 AM

    Jay, my mum made me sit thru this movie at the theatre with her and all I want to say is thank god for the hot chicks or I would have pulled all my hair out of my head.

    I have no musical inclinations myself but WTF for what they paid these people to star in this movie, a singing lesson or two would have been greatly appreciated to us movie goers. Thank god I brought my Ipod loaded with Marilyn Mason.


  • Monkey Girl  
    May 10, 2009 at 11:35 AM

    Why? Oh, why are you torturing yourself this way? I voted for the daily chick flick but you don't have to be such a masochist.

    Only good musicals are:

    Hello Dolly (with Barbara Streisand)

    Thoroughly Modern Millie (any musical that deals with white slavery is a must see)

    On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
    (another Barbara movie)

    I'm all for the chick flick movie a day torture but I would never endorse such mental trauma on one person.

  • Kelly  
    May 11, 2009 at 8:23 AM

    I was forced to watch this movie at work. It was a "fun" event.

    I too felt James' Bonds man-bits shrinking away. Seriously, does he have a drug or gambling problem?

    I'm supposed to believe that THREE men actually slept with Meryl Streep? Get out of here.

  • Ashley  
    May 13, 2009 at 11:36 AM

    I liked it. Maybe something is kinda wrong with me, but whatever. I LOVE musicals. Except for High School Musical. What is that crap?

    "Hercules is the shit"
    FUCK YEAH it is!!

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