Theatre / Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia! is a hit stage musical based around the music of ABBA. It was made into a 2008 film starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters and Dominic Cooper.

The plot is simple enough: 20-year-old Sophie (Seyfried) is the daughter of single mom and former rock star Donna (Streep). Sophie is getting married to Skye (Cooper) and wants her father at her wedding; unfortunately, she doesn't know who it is as Donna never told her. To be fair, Donna herself doesn't know, having slept with three guys right around the time she became pregnant: Sam (Brosnan), Harry (Firth) and Bill (Skarsgård). Sophie invites all three possible dads to her wedding to try and find her natural father.

Throw in a Greek island, the other two members of Donna's former girl group (Baranski and Walters) and a dozen ABBA songs, and Hilarity Ensues.

Provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Name Change: Bill Austin becomes Bill Anderson in the film, since he's played by Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: The film came out in 2008, though the original stage musical premiered in 1999. 20-year-old Sophie is explicitly said to have been conceived "at the end of flower power", i.e. the early sixties to late seventies. This and the fact that the musical seems to take place during internet adoption time, what with Sky's advertising venture, clocks the action in at the early to mid nineties.
  • Artistic License – Traditional Christianity: Judging from how he's vested, if the priest isn't Catholic, then he's Orthodox. Either way, you'd expect he would refuse to marry Sam to Donna, as he had just revealed that he had gotten divorced.
  • Audience Participation: On stage, audience members are encouraged to sing, clap, and dance along. About a month and a half after the film's U.S. release, Universal shipped out a "sing-along" version with the lyrics appearing on screen.
  • Bi the Way: Harry.
  • Brick Joke/Call-Back: At the beginning, Rosie describes herself as a lone wolf. Bill describes himself as the same later on, which is the cue she needs to pursue him.
  • But Not Too Gay: Harry and his boyfriend gets maybe half a minute of screentime, on a generous count. That, and Harry is clearly bisexual rather than gay.
  • The Cameo: Benny Andersson appears as a piano player during "Dancing Queen." Bjorn Ulvaeus appears as a member of the Greek Pantheon during "Waterloo."
  • Carpet of Virility: Sam has one. We get to see it, thanks to Meryl Streep — see Throw It In. (In case you were wondering, yeah, Pierce Brosnan's still got it.)
  • Chick Flick: The fifth highest-grossing film of 2008, and targeted at female audiences to boot!
  • Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends
  • Cool Old Guy: Bill
  • Creator Cameo: Benny Andersson is the pianist in "Dancing Queen".
  • Deuteragonist: The movie is just as much about Donna as it is about Sophie. After all, what director on Earth is going to cast Meryl Streep in a supporting role?
  • Does Not Like Shoes: In many stage productions, Sophie goes barefoot in the opening scene and many others. In the film, she is a barefoot bride (seen in posters and the end of the scene where Sky picks her up.
  • Dramatic Ellipsis: Sophie wonders why the diary contains so many of them.
  • Easily Forgiven: Nobody seems to mind that Sophie abruptly cancels the wedding, especially her fiancé.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: Just how many of those songs actually advance the story or tell us something important about the characters?
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The whole show takes place over 2 days, with the intermission (if you're watching the stage version) taking place overnight.
  • Gene Hunting
  • Genki Girl: Sophie. The older females are quite energetic as well, despite their age.
  • Greek Chorus: Literally!
  • Hollywood Night: "I Have A Dream" and several other "night" scenes
  • Honorary Uncle: Rosie and Tanya, to Sophie.
  • Jukebox Musical
  • Large Ham: Virtually the entire adult cast, at least one of whom doesn't get to do it very often.
  • Likes Older Women: Pepper.
  • No Indoor Voice: In the movie, all the women qualify.
  • Once an Episode: There's a big gap in the song "I Do" in which all eyes go to the character being exhorted to make the vows. At least one audience member will keep singing.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: After the bachelorette party, both Bill and Harry are trying to tell the other that they found out that they're Sophie's father (at least that's what they think). However, Bill thinks Harry is trying to Come Out to him, while Harry thinks Bill is trying to admit to hooking up Rosie.
  • Power Trio: Actually four of them — Donna and the Dynamos; Sophie, Lisa and Ali; the three possible dads; and Sky, Pepper, and Eddie, albeit the last one is a subversion, since Eddie (or Salt, depending on the version you're watching) is practically cut.
  • Rousseau Was Right
  • Rule of Funny: One review described the film as the closest thing we'll ever come to seeing A-list celebrities doing drunken karaoke.
  • Scenery Porn: The movie is full of it.
  • Shout-Out: "Bright, Harry Bright" (as James Bond is standing next to him, no less!)
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Way toward the Idealism end.
  • Stealth Pun: Oh right, ha ha, those guys singing in the background are a Greek Chorus. Well how's that for brekekekeke-ing your ko-ax.
  • Tell Me About My Father
  • Title Drop: Mamma Mia, here I go again...
  • Those Two Girls: Sophie's best friends Ali and Lisa.
  • True Blue Femininity: Invoked during the Dancing Queen sequence, where all the women are donning blue pieces of clothing.
  • Two Scenes, One Dialogue: After the bachelorette party, Donna/Sophie is fretting to Rosie & Tanya/Ali & Lisa over the three-dads-present issue. Rosie & Tanya/Ali & Lisa decide to take the men out fishing to keep them distracted.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal
  • Who's Your Daddy?: Sophie eventually decides she doesn't care (Word of God is that the father is Bill).
  • Why Waste a Wedding?: Word for word when Sophie and Sky decide not to get married, thus Donna and Sam get married instead.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Sophie

Alternative Title(s): Mamma Mia