Mamma Mia: here we are again
Welcome to Weekend Binge. Every Friday we’ll bring you an over the top title designed to keep you from going too crazy. Check back throughout the weekend for even more gloriously queer entertainment.
The Two Moms Double Feature: Mamma Mia / Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again
Ahh, ABBA, the wonderful Swedish pop quartet who brought the world (and queer culture in particular) a series of unforgettable hit songs including “Dancing Queen”, “SOS”, “Knowing Me, Knowing You”, “Waterloo”, and of course, “Mamma Mia”. Many drag numbers were synced with ABBA strains before the band’s song catalog became fodder for a Broadway show, and later, a blockbuster movie duet.
Plot (s): A feminist and free-spirited hostel owner named Donna (played by Meryl Streep in the movies) and her daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) prepare for Sophie’s wedding to a hunky suitor (Dominic Cooper). Sophie desperately wants her former father to be present, but there is a problem. Donna doesn’t know which of her three lovers (Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan and Stellan Skarsgård) actually fathered Sophie. The arrival of the three men at the inn sends Donna into a panic, although luckily her two besties (Christine Baranski and Julie Walters) are on hand to help with the madness.
The sequel catches up with Sophie after Donna’s death as she plans to reopen the inn. A series of flashbacks detail Donna’s difficult relationship with her own mother, Ruby (played by Cher) and how Donna met Sophie’s three fathers. In the present, Ruby’s arrival sends Sohpie into a Donna-like panic, especially after realizing that the new hotel manager, Fernando (Andy Garcia), has a long-standing bond with Ruby.
Do you have it all? In films like this, the plot takes a back seat to the music, production numbers and charisma of the cast. Given the pedigree of this cast, the charisma flows just as much as the music. And given the number of gay icons available here – Cher, Streep, Baranski and Seyfried – the only way he would be more cheerful is to play with drag queens.
As it stands, Streep, Cher, Baranski, and Walters are getting dangerously close to drag parodies of themselves. That said, Mamma Mia and Here We Go Again are all-in-fun campfests in the same vein as Grease or Hairspray – the genre that invites audiences to sing and laugh in front of the assault cast. This Mother’s Day weekend, we recommend revisiting the movies alongside mom (drag, organic, or adoptive) and chilling out a few cocktails while you do.
Try not to sing. Additionally, viewing without a libation in your hand is not recommended.
Both films are streamed on YouTube, Amazon, VUDU and iTunes. Mamma Mia also broadcasts on Peacock.