I love me some ABBA ("Dancing Queen" is totally my karaoke song), but I really did not like this movie at all.
I saw a free preview screening of it a few weeks ago and expected to really enjoy it (had a blast at a Hairspray screening last year), but I was very disappointed. I thought the musical performances were great, and the scenery is gorgeous, but the book is just so awful. If you like the stage play, I'd imagine you may also enjoy the movie (as I think it's nearly identical?), but I just couldn't stand it.
And, while people may not like what was done with Sweeney Todd for the film, Tim Burton (and Stephen Sondheim!) at least recognized that film is a very different medium from the stage, and the musical was adapted based on this. I have been a huge Phyllida Lloyd fan since I took a workshop with her when I was an undergrad, but I think that this movie may have benefited from someone with more film experience, as it seemed like it was simply the stage play set in a prettier setting. Perhaps it would have worked better with a different director. But, I've never seen the show on stage, and, ultimately, I think I probably just can't get beyond the ridiculous book of the musical.
I did think almost all of the performers were wonderful. I was very impressed that Meryl Streep could deliver some of those lines with a straight face, like she totally bought into this as a film. THAT is some good acting. Julie Walters was fabulous, and I really enjoyed Amanda Seyfried's performance. The guys, meh. I loved the performances done during the closing credits, and I think I probably would have enjoyed the movie a lot if it were just an ABBA revue rather than something that supposedly had a plot.
Posted on Jul 12, 2008, 2:13 PM from IP address 184.108.40.206