Mamma Mia! ★★★★★

The entire "Dancing Queen" sequence is one of the most liberating moments in the history of cinema, no joke. All of those wonderful women with their feather boas prancing across a Greek Island belting their hearts out to the ultimate bop... Have you ever seen something so pure and joyous?

I have absolutely no hesitation rating Mamma Mia! five stars. It's the first stage-to-screen adaptation that works infinitely better on film, largely thanks to Phyllida Lloyd's thorough understanding of the piece and of her audience. Catherine Johnson's spirited screenplay is downright hilarious, and often touching in the intimate moments of friendship and family. There's a strong sense of British humour scattered throughout and I haven't laughed this much in a long time!

It's actually amazing how these classic ABBA songs have been so perfectly intertwined with this fresh (and unrelated) story. "Voulez-Vous" is an absolutely breathtaking musical sequence of passion and confusion while "Slipping Through My Fingers" is brimming with emotional resonance between mother and daughter. The eleven o'clock number, "The Winner Takes It All", packs a mammoth punch thanks to the fearless Meryl Streep. Donna is arguably her best on screen role, in fact every character is casted perfectly. There's an evident feeling of comradery between the cast and it's infectious how much fun their having. It doesn't even matter that Pierce Brosnan can't sing; he's having a ball and I am living for it! Christine Baranski's "Does Your Mother Know" was something of a sexual revelation for me as a preteen and remains a thrillingly seductive beach number to this day.

There is so much I adore about Mamma Mia! and all I have left to say (today) is that it's most deserving of the exclamation point in the title.

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