This weekend I went to see the newest in a trend of rather unsuccessful movie musicals: Mamma Mia.
By unsuccessful I don't necessarily mean by box office standards. The film has had a pretty decent (and extensive!) marketing campaign going on for a while. But can Broadway really translate well to the screen?
I am a HUGE fan of the old movie musicals. I grew up watching Singing in the Rain and Royal Wedding and all the old classics. But those that have been released in recent years just cannot compare (except Chicago, which is one of my favorites now).
I want to write more about this -- translating performance to the screen -- when I have the time, and perhaps I'll share a long paper I wrote in college (it's weird to say things like that...'back in college' like it was years ago...) about the musical genre. But for now I'll just say that you should see Mamma Mia for a smile and a laugh, but don't expect much. I've never seen the stage version and even putting aside the fact that the story is hardly substantial enough for a film plot, I'd be willing to bet the theme of interrupting perfectly fine dramatic scenes with an ABBA song out of nowhere goes over better onstage than on screen.