Mamma Mia 2 is undoubtably the film of the Summer (2018). I've seen it twice in the last week (and I'd happily go again). Spectacular scenery, a star-studded cast and ABBA's greatest hits, Mamma Mia 2 will be the soundtrack for your Summer....
Back in 2008 myself and my mother spent our Summer in Kalokairi, Greece - not literally but through the eyes of Sophie Sheridan and her mission to find out who her father was. Ten years later and the sequel, well prequel in many ways, has us back to Greece again - how could we resist! Although filmed in Vis, Croatia this time many of my favourite cast members are back (where else can you see Julie Waters, Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth in one place!!) with a few new faces telling the story of Donna's youth - Lily James is a particular star and all the young actors have their older counterparts mannerisms down to a tea. And who could fail to fall in love with Amanda Seyfried's angelic Sophie and the Dreamy Sky played by Dominic Cooper.
**SPOILERS ALERT DON'T READ ON IF YOU WANT TO KNOW*
Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again, has helped me cope with the sadness I've experienced this summer - it's a cocktail of comedy and compassion, a feel good film that helps you escape reality for a little while. Five years have passed since we saw Sophie gain not one, not two but three dads and this film addresses Sophie's present life whilst exploring the romantic exploits of the carefree and wild spirit Donna Sheridan (Sophie's mother) and her young loves Harry, Bill and Sam.
I can't name them all or you'd be scrolling forever, plus I don't want to spoil everything so here are just a few of the most iconic songs from the film:
'When I kissed the teacher' - Performed by Lily James, Alexa Davies & Jessica Keenan Wynn
Picture the scene, it's your University Graduation and you've been asked to address your peers and parents with a moving speech, it's the end of your academic life and the beginning of adulthood. You'd practise something that fits the mood perfectly wouldn't you, a little nod to the friendships you've made, the romances you've gained, the knowledge you've learnt and a thank you to your lecturers whilst preaching about living for the moment etc right? Well you would if you weren't Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia, this bubbly girl along with her friends Rosie and Tanya take over the Graduation ceremony like a flash mop with a comedic performance of 'When I kissed the teacher' (a ABBA song that I hadn't actually heard before). After leaving the hall with their classmates, its on their bicycles to sing and dance their way around Oxford before a dance routine reminiscent of High School Musical 3. But it's a great start for Lily James and a role very different from her Downton Abbey days.
'One of Us' - Performed by Amanda Seyfried & Dominic Cooper
Following her mother Donna's dream of opening a hotel, Sophie is getting everything ready whilst her love Sky played by dreamy Dominic Cooper (oh sorry did I say that already) is in New York learning the tricks of the hotel trade and now they are miles apart and wishing that they'd never left each other at all. The lyrics of this song are particularly resonating for anyone who has ever had to spend substantial time apart from their partner whilst carrying out their individual dreams ,as Sophie and Sky sing about 'being lonely' 'waiting for a call' 'wishing he had never left at all'. Amanda and Dominic manage this duet beautifully and the filmography from this scene is spectacular with the pulsating melody as their backdrop, the camera pans between the two sides of the Atlantic seamlessly even showing Sophie pulling a shirt out and placing it over the wardrobe only for Sky to pull on the same shirt whilst in New York.
'Waterloo' - Performed by Lily James & Hugh Skinner
Young Harry (Hugh Skinner) is in Paris is trying to woo young Donna (Lily James) this rendition of Waterloo is baffling and humorous, if you get through this scene without giggling then you need a good old tickle. Personally it's not one of my favourite ABBA songs but the choreography in this scene is incredible with Harry and Donna dancing and drinking their way around the French Restaurant before ultimately getting down to '...'.
'I have a Dream' Performed by Lily James
Young Donna walks through the farm house 'I have a dream, a fantasy to help me through reality' 'I have a dream, a song to sing, to help me cope with anything' dreaming about how she could turn this run down place into a successful hotel, years later her daughter Sophie walks through showing off how she's made her mother's dream a reality. This is one of my favourite scenes in the film as again the filmography is beautiful, with the past and present blended together and Lily's angelic vocals accompanied by greek melody.
'Angel Eyes' - Performed by Julie Waters, Christine Baranski and Amanda Seyfried
AGAIN I didn't know this was a ABBA song but its inclusion in this film was very clever, scorned by Bill years ago Rosie and her friend Tanya recount the tale to Sophie mentioning Bill's 'angel eyes' that will 'leave you hypnotised' but ultimately leave you hurting and craving cake. Its comedy at it's best, with Julie Waters slapstick humour making this scene, she tries to tell the story and is cut out a few times by her overbearing friend Tanya. They flap their arms to mimic angels and Sophie and Tanya are dramatically lifted over the table with Rosie left to clamber across by herself.
'Andante, Andante' - Performed by Lily James
Another ABBA song I hadn't heard before seeing this film (Am I actually a trueABBA fan after all) yet I love it combining slow instrumental sections with gorgeous vocals, this song emphasises the joy and power of music and dance. As well as reflecting how Donna is falling in love with Sam, as the young woman pleads with him 'I'm your music I'm your soul' but 'please don't let me down'.
'Dancing Queen' - Performed by the cast
ABBA classic of course and a nod to the first film. As Sophie's other two fathers Harry and Bill arrive for the grand opening of the hotel, they with the rest of the cast are all singing and all dancing on boats even re enacting iconic. And if Colin Firth's classic dad dancing fails to make you chuckle I think you need to take a serious long hard look at yourself.
'I've been waiting for you' - Performed by Amanda Seyfried. Julie Waters and Christine Baranski
Breathtakingly beautiful, the doe eyed and gorgeous Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) takes to the stage with 'the dynamos' Rosie & Tanya to pay a stunning tribute to her unborn child 'I'll be a good mum I swear' and mother Donna. It's a lovely moment highlighting the strong relationship between mother and child a bond that can never be broken.
'Fernando' - Performed by Cher
Cher plays Sophie's Grandmother who turns up unexpectedly at the party and spots her old lover 'Fernando' cue a operatic version of the classic song. It's a distinctive yet great version finished with fireworks and smiling on lookers.
Other standout parts to watch out for; cameos from Bjorn and Benny, young Rosie shovelling cake down in times of emotional distress, Harry falling into the ocean on his chair, the old greek lady and her karma its pronounced 'HA!". And who could forget the scenes with the passport control officer both past and present.
So my my how can you resist it? Take a chance on Mamma Mia 2 and prepare to send out an SOS when your local cinema stops showing it.
Trust me this film will be the soundtrack to your Summer. Let me know what your favourite songs are and who your favourite characters are in the comments.