The producers of the "Mamma Mia" movie have announced that they will be releasing a "sing-along" edition of the film into select theaters nationally on August 29th. The new version will feature the lyrics to each of the songs on the screen, encouraging audience members to join in singing their favorite ABBA ditties.
It's really a brilliant marketing idea, designed no doubt to enhance revenue by getting people to see the movie a second time. Because the primary attraction of the movie, as well as the hit stage version, has always been the insidiously tuneful and catchy ABBA songs.
I almost titled this post "Follow the Bouncing Bomb," but apparently the movie is anything but a bomb. So far, "Mamma Mia" has grossed about $116 million in the U.S., and about $321 million worldwide. (That's still a far cry from the stage version's $2-billion worldwide gross, but just wait for the DVD release.) The film cost a reported $56 million to make, so depending on the notoriously funky Hollywood accounting, this certainly could qualify as a hit.
But that doesn't mean that the movie is any good. I got flamed a bit when I posted my extremely negative review of the movie. People said I should lighten up, that it's just meant to be fluffy fun. I would remind these people that there's a difference between intent and execution. Sure, the movie is meant to be light and humorous, but even fluff needs to be well crafted, which "Mamma Mia" isn't. In their zest for the ABBA songs and the admittedly stellar cast, people seem to be ignoring whether the movie is well made, whether the story makes any sense, or whether the performances are any good. Because, IMHO, it isn't, it doesn't, and they aren't.
So I shan't be seeing the sing-along "Mamma Mia," but I may decide to take in the Broadway version of Mamma Mia on one of my upcoming NYC jaunts. In fact, I may see it the same weekend I'm seeing Shrek. The reason: the Broadway Theater and the Winter Garden are the only remaining Broadway houses that I've never been in, and seeing both Shrek and Mamma Mia on the same weekend would make it a sort of milestone for me. (I saw Mamma Mia on tour in Boston.) Or I could just wait until Mamma Mia closes, but who knows what horror might take its place. Yeah, I'm probably better off just biting the bullet and getting a discount ticket to Mamma Mia. Somehow this crap seems to work better on stage than on screen.