“Mamma Mia” takes everything good in the world and combines it into one two-hour-long cluster of joy. ABBA music, Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan’s singing — what more could you need? Well, maybe you don’t need the last one, but everything else remains vital.
When the announcement for a sequel was originally released, the first question everyone had was, “How is it going to live up to the first?” Now that “Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again” has finally made its way to theaters — and took in $34.4 million in its first box office weekend — the question has finally been answered. Did it far surpass the beauty of the first movie? I wouldn’t say so. Did I still cry like a baby in the middle of the theater? Obviously.
“Mamma Mia 2” provides relatable content for every generation. The sequel includes plot lines following protagonist Sophie’s new life, and incorporates flashbacks from the days of her mother Donna’s youth. With clips from these “good old days,” “Mamma Mia 2” not only brings exciting new story lines that the younger generations can enjoy, but also provides warm reminiscences for the older generations as well.
Importantly, “Mamma Mia 2” is, above all, a movie about women’s empowerment. The flashbacks from Donna’s childhood show her traveling the world independently and raising her child by herself. Scenes from the sequel follow the same themes, showing Sophie opening a hotel by herself, while dealing with other (no spoilers!) struggles as well, all independently.
Of course, I can’t forget to mention Rosie and Tonya, the real heroes of this delightful franchise. Throughout their timeless friendship and with their witty one-liners, they’ve done it all without a man by their side. If the movie could be summed up in one line, “Independent women who don’t need no man” would do the trick.
Given that the original movie came out a full decade ago, in 2008, the newly released sequel faced the responsibility of addressing how the world has grown since then. “Mamma Mia 2” does a great job with inclusivity, albeit subtly, by featuring actors with disabilities and representing the LGBTQ community through extras. “Waterloo,” anyone?
“Mamma Mia 2” also offers relatable content to anyone who has ever been in love, or not been in love, or really just lived at all, such as the entire plot line designated to Rosie only knowing how to cope by committing herself to trying every kind of cake that she can get her hands on. This movie will truly have you shouting “ME” at least once every scene.
“Mamma Mia 2” is the definition of a good summer movie. It has you leaving the theater smiling, or maybe crying depending on who you are, but still feeling much better than when you went in. It isn’t one of those sequels that makes you wish that you had never ruined the original for yourself by seeing it but, instead, adds a whole new layer to the already amazing story.
Do yourself a favor, take your grandmother, your mother, your sister and enjoy this great movie, but don’t think about where ABBA existed in all of this, because then it just gets confusing.