Sometimes, you just don’t know what you’ve been missing until…well, until you find out you’ve been missing it. So, tonight, lying curled on the sofa, watching (for the first time!) the film version of “Mamma Mia”.
Oh, why haven’t I watched this before?
Happy, bittersweet and wonderful!
Utter tosh, too! But aren’t the best stories? The best musicals?
Across the room, andrea bridled at continuity issues! Huh? What’s that got to do with anything?
Its not serious drama. Not serious anything. But still it had the power to make me smile and, for the second time today, to raise a tear or two.
And in the early scenes, something I maybe would not quite have noticed (or identified with) before: a celebration of disgraceful, unashamed middle-aged womanhood.
Sure: the focus is on the young 20-something daughter. And the male interest (including Piers Brosnan, Colin Firth and the slightly lesser known Stellan Skarsgård) is obviously there for its pin-up value. But the scenes that stood out, for me, were the early ones, highlighting the friendship between Meryl Streep, Julie Walters and Christine Baranski.
I know the intention is that this is a family movie, with something for everyone. It feels, though, as if somewhere along the way, the writers got a lot more interested in the female characters… and just settled down to showing how magnificent women can be when they’ve got past all that youthful obsession with image and conformity.
Descending, briefly, to boring seriousness, this feels like a woman’s movie first and foremost. Maybe, too, I found myself drawn to it that much more, given the journey I’ve been on over the last year.
In another recent post, I wrote about how much more “connected” I feel now: to the world, to people, to other women. That feeling was very strong tonight. I think I “got” what Meryl and her friends are about in a way I could never have done before.
Random out-take? I loved the way Christine Baranski inhabited her role of confident cougar. Written less kindly, she’d have been a figure of ridicule. Here, she came across as simply grown-up and assertive.
Watching her, for a moment, I felt myself slipping back several decades. Is it just me, or does Christine ressemble (both in looks and character) Lily Tomlin, who made her name in 60’s review vehicle “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in”. Dunno. I’m always being told I’m crap at spotting facial likeness.
But take a look for yourself.
And whilst you’re at it, just pretend I’m not old enough to remember Lily from first time around.