A Musical That Celebrates Flaws
Franz Patrick - wrote on 01/28/09
I thought I would dislike this movie because I’m not a fan of musicals nor am I a big fan of ABBA (even though I’m familiar with some of their songs). What saved and (surprisingly enough) elevated this picture is its sheer enthusiasm to entertain its audiences. It’s not afraid to be silly or too light or even feature some bad singing. It takes a lot of courage from the director (Phyllida Lloyd) and writer (Catherine Johnson) for the film to embrace its inconsistencies, flaws, and logic so I must commend them for it. Even though the film is full of stars such as Amanda Seyfried and her three potential fathers (Stellan Skarsgård, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth), the actors that truly shine are Meryl Streep (as Seyfried’s single mother) and her two best friends: Julie Walters and Christine Baranski. As the three older women in the film, they managed to single-handedly make me smile and laugh whenever they’re on screen. I love the fact that the director was not afraid to show the actresses’ aging bodies. I mean this in a good way because most films try to hide qualities of someone’s body that don’t fit “the norm.” In this movie, flaws are very welcome and even celebrated. Even though I thought that the characters could’ve solved the identity of Seyfried’s father in the first five minutes by taking a paternity test, if they hadn’t dragged it out, there would be no movie. Plus, musicals are not to be taken seriously; the genre’s aim is to simply make someone feel good. As for Seyfried, I think she’s a star. From the moment I saw her in “Mean Girls,” I knew she would be a celebrity and I think she has a bright future ahead of her if she continues to choose different but rewarding roles. I must also commend Streep for impressing me once again. She has such a well-rounded repertoire and she’s quickly becoming one of my favorite actresses as I see more films. In here, she’s wounded but strong, not to mention that she has a great singing voice. The best scene has got to be when she sang “The Winner Takes It All” on a cliff with Brosnan. She did it with such passion to the point where it gave me goosebumps and realized that I could 100% identify with her character even though we’re completely different. I expected to dislike this movie but I was glad to be proven wrong. Yes, most people will completely dismiss this film by pointing out its flaws. But I think it’s deeper to appreciate it for its flaws especially when it made a person feel good by the end of the day.