Mamma Mia!

Why Meryl and co are (mostly) on the money, money, money...

"Wait 'til they get a load of us in our sparkling little suits," says Pierce Brosnan on the Making Of, half-smirking, halfsmouldering. "By God."

Quite. Mamma Mia! is camp ’n’ cheesy – no surprise there. It’s also shoddily cut and choreographed, wincingly plotted (perky Amanda Seyfried invites possible dads Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard to her island wedding; everyone sings) and falls arse over tit with its ill-timed, ill-advised slapstick. 

Yet, if anything, it’s more irresistible than risible, glossing flaws with postcard visuals and sheer exuberance.

And so we have Meryl Streep – she of Sophie’s Choice and A Cry In The Dark – trampolining on beds, singing into hairdryers and playing a spirited air-guitar; the non-stop action, meanwhile, careens over bone-white beaches and sunkissed courtyards, into jewelled bays.

Shot over 80 days, many of them at the UK’s Pinewood Studios, it’s clear everyone was having the proverbial blast as they sought to “capture the tone” (says producer Gary Goetzman) of the stage play.

The transition’s success is evident in the numbers: for the play’s 32m viewers, try a Titanicbothering £66m at the UK box-office.

Jamie Graham

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