My paternal grandmother, whom I called Mama, loved ABBA. Therefore when I became a teenage, and even before, I decided not to like them. I thought it would be uncool to like the same kind of music as my grandma. Besides I was into punk, industrial, goth, rock…All of this swirled in the back of my mind as I was watching Mamma Mia!, a musical incorporating many ABBA songs, with my wife, her aunt and her son last night. For most of the movie our 6 months old daughter was with us too. She definitely felt the rhythm, and moved along with it for several songs. We also noticed that she found dialogs boring and preferred women singing to men. In the case of the first Pierce Brosnan song I agreed with her, otherwise they were all fine.
The movie was heavily recommended, everybody who mentioned it liked it, including my mother and my wife’s aunt, for whom this was the fifth screening and she still found knew lines in it for her. I thought that the movie was cute and light, but the aunt pointed out that there was something in it from classic Greek tragedies. She was right: those tragedies often built around missing information or somebody not knowing or being aware hidden familial connection. In this sense appreciated that in our age when DNA testing is available and getting more affordable this movie didn’t incorporated a simple paternity test. I foretold to our little group of movieviewers that we will not learn the identity of the dad, but a real lesson of identity will be told. I did not accept it coming first from the groom though.
I enjoyed the movie, the songs, the lights, the scenery, but didn’t understand why so many people were practically obsessed by this film. I guess had I liked ABBA in my formative years I would too. My grandmother surely would have loved it. She would have been 81 one years old today.