Saturday, 21 July 2018

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Film Review - When Lily James Met Harry, Bill & Sam In 70's Glitter With Andy Garcia And Cher - It's Summer's Anthem With Double Cheese Please

Ol Parker has written and directed Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again with plenty of tongue-in-cheek action and lashings of kitsch. A glorious picture postcard of a fantasy Greek island, filled with old favourites and new faces. And plenty of singing and dancing locals, perfectly happy in their beautiful surroundings.

Amanda Seyfried's Sophie, with the voice of an angel, has inherited Mum Donna's house, and is turning it into a luxury hotel. The Hotel Bella Donna. Andy Garcia is Fernando the Hotel Manager. Yes we can see it coming... and Pierce Brosnan's Sam is living on the island carving out his architecture practice. A huge party is planned to open the new hotel, but storm clouds are gathering. Boyfriend Sky is in New York learning the restaurant trade. With a hotel ready made on this beautiful island let's hope it's not a Greek tragedy for Dominic Cooper.

Meanwhile young Donna played by the always impossibly sunny and beautiful Lily James, is Valedictorian at her Oxford college back in the day, with besties Tanya and Rosie, played by Jessica Keenan Wynn and Alexa Davies. Terrific performances with their voices perfectly matching their older characters Christine Baranski and Julie Walters. Class acts from all four ladies.

Donna's mother never came to her graduation because she's a flake, but Donna has her whole life in front of her. And Paris is the first stop. She meets Harry played by Hugh Skinner. They go for dinner to Napoleons. A Waterloo moment with dancing uniformed Napoleonic waiters and plenty of tricornes. A big set piece with multi-race and disabled wheelchair users - this movie is going for total inclusion. But Donna is just passing through and her future is in sunny Greece. They spend the night together, Harry's first. With a woman I guess. See totally inclusive.

Omid Djalili is hilarious at Greek passport control, but poor Donna misses her boat to her island. Should have cut her hair! Fortunately young Bill, played by Josh Dylan, is a Swedish loveboat, who also happens to have a boat, so Donna hitches a lift. Another night...and then he's off on a three week boat race

Already holidaying on her fantasy island when she arrives Donna meets Sam, her true love? Played by Jeremy Irvine he has a secret to be revealed, but until then he and Donna spend their days and nights together. But when the summer ends Donna is alone. Well not quite because Tanya and Rosie arrive. Heaving their own hearts and looking for love. Funnily enough cake, carbs and wine can fill a man shaped hole.... And it's all Abba's back catalogue in impossibly snug pants for Donna and the Dynamos.

In a nice touch Rosie falls in love with Bill, when he's back from his race, but he's already diving for pearls with Donna. Rosie might still get her chance at love with him in the present day, when she and Tanya return to the island for Sophie's party. Turns out Tanya is a bit of a cougar but even she hilariously requests Fernando be washed and delivered to her tent. Yes Andy Garcia will do that to you.

So we have the main players, we have their past and we have Sophie's beginning, and we have their present. The future will arrive by helicopter, and find her Fernando, (that could have been kept out of the trailers though), and also discover she's going to be a great grandma. Also keeping that out of the Bio Cher. And Sophie's other dads will arrive, Stellan Skarsgård's Bill has Abba in his blood, but Colin Firth's Harry will need to have the rhythm coaxed out of him.

And there will be tears before baby's bath time, as Meryl Streep's Donna is always there with them. Huge gulping tears!

Confession I did see the original movie, I was dragged along by a colleague who liked both Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth, but I couldn't really remember it. But with joyous choreography by Anthony Van Laast and of course music by Benny and Björn, Here We Go Again is the anthem for the summer.

And I swear when Lily James picked oranges the cinema was filled with their scent.

Great job Ol.

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