Parents' Guide to

Mamma Mia!

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Upbeat, silly ABBA musical has sexual innuendos.

Movie PG-13 2008 108 minutes
Mamma Mia! Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 53 parent reviews

age 12+

This film is great if you’ve already had the talk with your girls. Nothing too explicit visually, but the whole premise of the movie is that the bride to be wants to know which of the men that her mother slept with years ago is her father.
age 6+

Not My Favorite, But Great Film

Mamma Mia! is a classic movie that has an important message to viewers in between songs and dance performances. The movie has a message of gender role stereotypes and the dangers of gender roles. A father and a mother are more than just their traditional roles, and the movie Mamma Mia! shows how a child suffers when only responsibilities are fulfilled rather than figures are present in their life. A man is more than just a wallet and a mother is capable of more than just loving their child, and Mamma Mia! proves how initiative exists in both sexes to be more than their stereotypes.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (53 ):
Kids say (173 ):

Based on the hit Broadway musical of the same name, this movie is a frothy concoction that manages to entertain despite the fact that it's disjointed, nonsensical, and fairly cheesy. Onstage, you can forgive all these shortcomings -- the music, the dancing, and the theatricality of it all sweep you away. But on-screen it's a more hazardous bet. Though some of the musical numbers soar -- "Dancing Queen," of course, and the infectious "Mamma Mia!" -- many more hit the wrong note. Although Streep is formidable (who else can meld camp with believable emotion?) and actually sings quite prettily, the dance numbers might make you laugh in all the wrong places. Seeing Streep in Spandex, her straggly mane tossing about, is a little like witnessing your mom let loose at a party after one too many drinks: Your heart soars at her joie de vivre, but you also kind of want her to stop. Still, Streep's acting chops serve her well; Christine Baranski, who plays Donna's cougar-y sidekick, also fares well, and Julie Walters is just plain fun. Brosnan is dashing as always, though singing isn't his strong suit. And Firth and Skarsgård seem like afterthoughts.

In the end, it's Seyfried who frankly saves the whole enterprise. Her Sophie beseeches you to check your judgments at the door. Her voice is outstanding, managing to ground the silliness of ABBA's greatest hits. And the island? It's so heavenly that it mitigates the film's flaws. So what if it's all a little off? In the end, Mamma Mia! manages to move you with its unabashed exuberance. The eponymous tune does, after all, go: "Mamma Mia, how can I resist you?" For a few moments, anyway, it's the 1970s all over again. Bring on the disco ball.

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