One thing you may not know about me is that I Love ABBA. Yes, I mean ABBA like as in the band. Another thing you might not know about me is that I've always said that I was like a gay guy caught in a straight girl's body... only a little less feminine and with a lot less style (although I've known a gay lumber jack so I know that not ALL gay guys have style). At any rate, despite my love for ABBA but thanks to my TIVO, I have been living under a rock and I was not aware that the movie for "Mamma Mia" had actually been made, much less that it starred Pierce Brosnan or Meryl Streep, much to my surprise. That is, I was not aware until my pal Jen suggested that we go and see the movie together... seeing as how we'd previously bonded over our mutual love for Double A Double B. So, after much deliberation regarding the cost of a movie ticket (which turned out to not even be an issue because she had free passes) and whether or not I'd be able to stay awake due to pregnancy hormones (which was also, surprisingly, not an issue), I decided to take her up the offer. And let me say, I am so glad that I did. First, I must write about this movie. I am NOT a musical gal. If there is not an orphan or a transvestite or, apparently, Tim Curry, involved, I'm usually not that crazy about musicals. As a matter of fact, I actually dislike them. But when it comes to ABBA, I must make an exception. Years ago, my friend Sherry took me to see "Mamma Mia" when it was at TPAC (Tennessee Performing Arts Center for you out of towners) and my experience of that show was not unlike my experience tonight. The main difference was that I didn't let my self bellow out the lyrics until the last two songs (whereas at TPAC I sang every lyric and got down right annoyed each time that Catherine Johnson had to change a lyric in order to fit the plot). I won't comment much on the performances although I will say that I was a little surprised by how well Meryl Streep sang and how cute Pierce Brosnan looked (because I'm not usually in to those Hollywood types). All I can really say is that it was amazing. Delightful. Enchanting. Magical even. I loved that both Benny and Bjorn made appearances. I loved that just this morning I was thinking, "Will there be any fun parts for me on stage when I'm 50?" and tonight I realized that I can play Rosie one day! I loved the "Voulez Vous" scene. And I loved the random bits of crude humor that seemed totally out of place yet completely perfect.
ABBA music has always had a dramatic affect on me. When I was a little girl I had a "Mini Pops" tape and on that tape was an ABBA medley. Of course, it was not until about ten years later, when my then-idol Bjork mentioned the Swedish quartet in an interview that I discovered I'd already been exposed to quite a bit of this band's music. I will never forget the day that Mama and I were in the vintage shop in the back of the Goodlettsville Goodwill (Yes, there was a vintage shop in the back of it and it was amazing and I don't want to talk about it or I'll cry) and I found the self-titled album with "Rock Me" . The cover was all beat up and the record was a little scratched but I didn't care. I brought that sucker home and played it to death. Until my daddy drove me all the way to BFNashville to what was Turtles music to buy my first but not last ABBA cd set. My love has never ceased. I even walked down the aisle at my wedding to an ABBA song ("I've Been Waiting for You" not "I Do I Do I Do"... I'm not that predictable). I am always moved to tears by a few of their songs in particular and I think it's just cruel and unusual punishment for the script of this movie to call for two of those songs to be sung back to back ("Slipping Through My Fingers" and "Winner Takes in All" right in a row). Anyway, the bottom line is that if you are a girl, a gay gay, or an ABBA fan (or two of the three), go see this movie. This is not a review. It's just advice. But be warned. There is a lot of singing. So try not to be like the girls behind us who acted surprised each time the cast broke into song.
Just for fun, this is my all-time favorite ABBA song and if you've never heard it before then listen to the entire thing. You'll thank me later. Or you won't. Whichever.
And, on a side note, Jen is pretty cool and I think that I'll hang out with her more often!