Erin and I went to see Mamma Mia this afternoon and I was hoping to enjoy it since musicals can be pretty fun -- song, dance, and escapism. Unfortunately the only escapism I experienced today was the urge from the very beginning of the movie to get the hell out of the theater.
From the first cracked-out ABBA number to the credits there was one overarching theme to the movie that pissed me off: Women are always fabulous and men exist only to be fools who fawn over them. The maddening part is that not a single one of the characters in this film were worth fawning over.
Every single woman portrayed was a cracked-out, batshit-crazy princess complex waiting to break out in to tears or song. Whichever happened really depends on whether they were either (a) reminiscing about their fabulous youth or (b) mourning how difficult and emotional their life has been. And then they hope for a rich, perfect man to solve their problems. Lady, a rich man won't solve your problem. You are your problem. AND SHUT UP WITH THE ABBA SONGS OH GOD.
The three potential fathers are all nothing more than stereotypes of the Ideal Middle-Aged Man. One was a rich banker, the other a suave architect, and the third an adventurous travel writer. The message this movie sends to women is that they should expect nothing less. The message it sends to men is that we should be nothing less. As a man from reality I was insulted, and afraid for the husbands of all the women in the theater.
This was a terrible movie. Those who liked it (far too many in my theatre) need to take a look around them and understand that just like men, women are not the stronger sex. Delusions of grandeur never suited anybody, especially women looking for someone else to solve their problems. Women looking for someone of my gender to fit their dreams least of all.
The one moment of sanity came surprisingly from the twenty-something husband-to-be. His fiance did something batshit crazy and didn't tell him about it. When he found out she somehow concluded that his frustration meant he didn't love her. He turned around and said "I do love you! I just wish you told me!". I don't know what his character was doing in the film.
I can only hope that this was somehow a subtle satire of the chick-flick, "aren't women fabulous? Why don't men get it?" genre. That would be far too kind to the creators of this film. They are ABBA fans, after all -- is nuance really their thing?
Whatever you do, do not see this movie. Let it burn a slow death.
Disclaimer: I do not hate women. I love women. I just can't stand the hyperbolic versions portrayed in this film