"Typical, isn't it? You wait 20 years for a dad and then three come along at once. "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: 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 to be at her wedding; unfortunately, she doesn't know who her father is, as Donna never told her. Donna herself doesn't even 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.A sequel to the film, titled Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, is set to be released in July of 2018.
Mamma Mia contains 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.
- The priest has an English accent, so is probably Anglican, who could possibly remarry a divorced person.
- 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.
- But Not Too Gay: Harry and his boyfriend get maybe half a minute of screentime, on a generous count, and they don't kiss or anything, but tango off.
- 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.
- The Cameo: Benny Andersson appears as a piano player during "Dancing Queen." Bjorn Ulvaeus appears as a member of the Greek Pantheon during "Waterloo."
- Chick Flick: The fifth highest-grossing film of 2008, and targeted at female audiences to boot!
- 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.
- Easily Forgiven: Nobody seems to mind that Sophie abruptly cancels the wedding, especially her fiancé.
- Extremely Short Timespan: The whole show takes place over 2 days, with the intermission (if you're watching the stage version) taking place overnight.
- Genki Girl: Sophie, and the older women despite their age, are quite energetic.
- 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.
- Rule of Funny: One review described the film as the closest thing we'll ever come to seeing A-list celebrities doing drunken karaoke.
- Slut-Shaming: Averted! Donna slept with three different men in a short enough period of time that any of them could potentially be Sophie's father, but this isn't presented as a moral failing. Sophie would like to know who her father is, but she openly states that Donna could've slept with hundreds of men for all she cares. The only person who judges Donna for it is Donna's own mother, who is not part of her life — and, according to Donna's friends, was a deeply unpleasant woman, anyway.
- Stealth Pun: Oh right, ha ha, those guys singing in the background are a Greek Chorus. Lampshaded by:Tanya: This is... very Greek.
- That Reminds Me of a Song: Just how many of those songs actually advance the story or tell us something important about the characters?
- Title Drop: They sing the movie's title in the line "Mamma Mia, here I go again…". Plus the movie is about a mother/daughter relationship and how it would be affected by the addition of another parent.
- True Blue Femininity: Invoked during the Dancing Queen sequence, 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.
- Who's Your Daddy?: Sophie eventually decides she doesn't care, though Word of God is that the father is Bill. Supported in-universe by his statement that the money Donna inherited from Bill's aunt "stayed in the family", although how his aunt could have known that when Donna didn't is anyone's guess.
- Why Waste a Wedding?: Word for word when Sophie and Sky decide not to get married, thus Donna and Sam get married instead.