I'll come straight out and say it: I found Mamma Mia! unwatchable. Ok, let me amend that: I found the first 45 minutes of Mamma Mia! unwatchable. The rest could be fabulous, but my mind was wandering so much that I gave up halfway in. Yes, I am a girl. Yes, I love disco. Yes, I love silliness. What should have been a slam dunk went terribly wrong.
My only concern going in was that the actors couldn't sing. While Pierce Brosnan could be described as charmingly bad, the rest of the cast did well, with Amanda Seyfried having an especially nice voice. The problem was that the singing was incessant. One review estimated that there was only a half hour of dialogue in the entire movie. I expected a silly plot, but even silly plots need more than 30 minutes to hold them together. Added to that was a premise that stretched credulity well beyond the breaking point.
The song and dance numbers (especially Money) were often cringe inducing. I give the actors credit for diving into such nonsense wholeheartedly and seeming to have a great time doing it. Unfortunately, watching people have fun isn't quite the same as having fun yourself. In fact, it quickly becomes tedious. I've read that there are audience participation/sing-along showings in some theaters. Maybe that would make for a better experience. On a dvd in my living room, the film alternated between absurd, painful, and dull.
And why was Meryl Streep's hair glowing? Inexplicable!
Verdict: Two thumbs WAY down. 2.5/10
(If you're wondering how an unwatchable movie managed a 2.5, two of the songs 'Gimme Gimme Gimme' and 'Voulez-Vous' were wonderfully catchy, and the cast version topped the ABBA original. I bought them from Amazon and have been overplaying them all week, so at least some good came from the experience.)