Mamma Mia! Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Donna’s (Meryl Streep) wild past catches up with her on the eve of her daughter’s wedding. Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is anxious to find out who her father is in order to have him walk her down the aisle. When she stumbles on her mother’s journal while rifling through some old boxes, she discovers that three different men had relations with her mom before her birth. Without informing Donna, Sophie sends invitations to all of them in hopes they’ll attend the ceremony and she’ll be able to figure out who her dad is.
No one is more surprised than Donna when her former lovers, Sam (Pierce Brosnan), Harry (Colin Firth), and Bill (Stellan Skarsgard) all arrive on the idyllic Greek island where she runs a dilapidated holiday villa. Sworn to secrecy by Sophie, none of the men will confess why they are there. However, as the nuptials draw nearer, Sophie still can’t determine which man is her biological father.
Meanwhile, Donna’s friends, Rosie (Julie Walters) and Tanya (Christine Baranski) also show up for the big event. Disappointed by the changes they see in the overworked hostess, they try to rekindle Donna’s carefree passion and spontaneity. Rosie, a cookbook author, and Tanya, a serial bride, don their old dancing outfits and talk their friend into putting on a performance with them at her daughter’s bridal party.
Striding across a temporary stage in their platform boots and boas, the three aging friends belt out the lyrics to “Super Trouper”. It’s just one performance in the film that discloses the crooning talents of the actors in this cast. Set to the melodies of the Swedish singing group ABBA, this plot is propelled forward by a score of musical interludes featuring the voices of all the main characters, along with those of Sophie’s fiance Sky (Dominic Cooper) and a young bartender (Philip Michael) who hounds Tanya for some sexual attention while repeatedly pouring drinks for the visitors.
For those familiar with ABBA and their music, this theatrical adaptation of the play Mamma Mia! may be an enjoyable diversion. Yet the script presents problems for many family viewers. Donna’s simultaneous affairs leave her unsure as to the parentage of her child and disclosing that fact to Sophie (as well as the men she slept with) proves to be embarrassing and disconcerting. Twenty years after the fact, Donna appears to face some consequences for her activities. Still, sexual comments, bawdy jokes and discussions of former liaisons make up much of the script. Men in various degrees of undress (including male buttock nudity) are also seen.
Given the success of the play and the prospects of the film, Mamma Mia! is a testament to the idea that catchy tunes can make even questionable content more palatable. That’s a tactic mammas (and papas) might find hard to swallow.Starring Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth.. Theatrical release July 17, 2008. Updated November 16, 2009
Rating & Content Info
Why is Mamma Mia! rated PG-13? Mamma Mia! is rated PG-13 by the MPAA The MPAA has rated Mamma Mia! PG-13 for some sex-related comments.
Sexual discussions and some lewd jokes make up much of the humor in this story about a woman who’s various affairs leave her unsure about her child’s conception. During a party, two men are attacked and physically fondled by a group of women. One character confesses to his homosexual interest in another man. An older woman rebuffs the sexual advances of a much younger man. Men’s bare chests are seen frequently. Male buttock nudity is shown in a non-sexual context. Many of the guests at a tiny island retreat consume alcohol. Drinks are served at parties and with dinner. Three women appear to be drunk. Prescription drug use and cigars are also shown. The script contains terms of Deity and brief vulgarities.
Page last updated November 16, 2009
More parents' guide for Mamma Mia! after the break...
Mamma Mia! Parents' Guide
Sophie appears to have been raised in a loving and positive atmosphere by a single mother. Why is she so consumed with finding out who her father is? Why does she think it will help her feel more complete as a person? Is a father figure important in a child’s life?
Does Donna have any regrets about her past life? What are the consequences for her decisions?
Tombstoning is a term used to describe an outdoor activity where participants dive off of a high fixed point such as cliff faces, bridges or sea walls. While this pursuit is portrayed in a positive way in the film, what dangers should people be aware of before doing this? When movies depict such activities, should they hold any responsibility for promoting risky behaviors?
The most recent home video release of Mamma Mia! movie is December 15, 2008. Here are some details…
Release Date: 16 December 2008
Mamma Mia! Here it comes again—the ABBA musical on DVD. Fans of the film can choose from the following presentations:
Mamma Mia! 2- Disc Set comes with an audio commentary by director Phyllida Lloyd, a deleted musical number (The Name of the Game), deleted scenes and outtakes, behind-the-scenes with Amanda Seyfried, the music video Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!, a sing-along track and a digital copy of the movie. There are the following featurettes too: Anatomy of a Musical Number, Becoming a Singer, On Location in Greece, Bjorn Ulvaeus Cameo, A Look Inside Mamma Mia! and The Making of Mamma Mia! Audio tracks are available in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English, Spanish and French), with subtitles in English, French and Spanish.
Mamma Mia! Is also available on Blu-ray. Special features are an audio commentary with director Phyllida LLoyd, a deleted musical number (The Name of the Game), trailers, deleted scenes and outtakes, the music video Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! and the following featurettes: Anatomy of a Musical Number, Bjorn Ulvaeus Cameo, A Look Inside Mamma Mia! and The Making of Mamma Mia! BD Live features include My Scenes Sharing, Downloadable Content, My Chat and My Mamma Mia! Commentary. U control offers picture-in-picture and behind-the-hits. As well, there is a sing-along track and a digital copy of the movie. Audio is available in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English), DTS 5.1 Surround (French and Spanish), with subtitles in English, French and Spanish.
Related home video titles:
Meryl Streep’s other musical roles in film include playing one member of a sisterly duet in A Prairie Home Companion and a violin teacher for inner-city children in Music of the Heart (a part for which she learned to play the violin). Pierce Brosnan lends his musical and acting talents to the story of a young father struggling to get his children back in Evelyn.
Actor Colin Firth also stars in another script about a daughter is looking for her dad, in the movie What a Girl Wants.