Monday, August 25, 2008

And when you get the chance...

I do appreciate so-called ‘quality’ cinema and the latest Guildhall Arts Centre brochure indicates this; a variety of serious features has been energetically ticked by this keen punter, demonstrating a desire to go and watch artfully shot bio-pics, earnest documentaries, New Wave classics and low budget nuggets. One or two of these films might even be in a foreign language for heaven's sake. Having said all that, I have to confess that I visited the local multiplex picture house with my family earlier this week to view a piece of cinematic fluff, a lightweight load of old nonsense that I also happened to enjoy as much as any film I’ve seen for ages. I own up; I loved Mamma Mia, every single mad minute of it, every corny song and dance routine, every ridiculous plotline and twist. The story is paper-thin and is something to do with a wedding, some pressing paternity issues, lost love and all that malarkey. What I adored was the gorgeous Greek setting in front of which the likes of Pierce Brosnan, Meryl Streep (acting her bleeding socks off), Colin Firth and Julie Walters (playing Julie Walters), on a fairly regular basis, unexpectedly break into song, belting out with gusto galore an appropriate Abba classic that had something loosely to do with the current state of play with the wedding, the pressing paternity issues etc. For example, Streep runs a hotel and it’s a bit short of cash so she breaks into Money, Money, Money unapologetically; Walters, at the wedding feast, reckons one of the paternity issues blokes should take a chance on her romantically and, well, one can guess the rest. This was an unashamed feel-good feature and I admit I fell for its unsophisticated charms hook, line and sinker; the two hours flew by and I’m not too proud to state that another half an hour or so more would have been fine by me. After all, we didn’t get The Name of the Game, Knowing Me, Knowing You, The Day Before You Came or Eagle and I’m sure the plot could have been stretched even more tightly to allow for these favoured hits.

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