MAMMA MIA! (2008)

Our special Mother's Day episode is a bit of an ABBA-ration, as Michael and Nakea take a chance on a film neither has seen before: the 2008 big-screen adaptation of Mamma Mia! 

(Yes, the exclamation point is part of the title.)

First, we're warming up with a quick lesson on the messed-up history of Mother's Day, and a brief discussion about some of our favorite pop-culture matriarchs. Then, we're sitting down for our first experience of the worldwide Mamma Mia! phenomenon, and trying to get to the bottom of a few questions. What's the deal with jukebox musicals? When exactly did Stellan Skarsgard become a song-and-dance man? Who decided it was a good idea to give Pierce Brosnan all the love songs? How can 60 million people (and counting) love Mamma Mia!? And, most importantly: Why did The Unenthusiastic Critic ever agree to watch this movie?


0:00: Prologue: Interview with Pierce Brosnan, BBC1
1:03: Preliminary Conversation: Mother's Day and Pop-Culture Moms
16:41: Musical Interlude: "Oedipus Rex" by Tom Lehrer
18:19: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion of Mamma Mia!
28:24: Original Trailer for Mamma Mia!
30:44: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion of Mamma Mia!
1:08:31: Outro and Next Week's Movies
1:10:13: Outtake

Notes and Links

—Movie Reviewed: Mamma Mia! (dir. Phyllida Lloyd, Universal, 2008)
—Reviews Mentioned: Roger Ebert,; Kenneth Turran, LA Times
Interview Excerpt from Pierce Brosnan on BBC1
—Article Mentioned: "Why We Love Mamma Mia!", The Guardian
—Read The Unenthusiastic Critic in prose form at
Email us, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook. (Suggestions of movies to watch for future episodes are welcome!)
—"Warm Duck Shuffle" by Arne Huseby is licensed under CC BY 3.0.
—"Oedipus Rex" © Tom Lehrer, 1959.

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2 thoughts on “MAMMA MIA! (2008)”

  1. At the risk of implicitly giving away a major spoiler, Season 2 of "Marvel's Jessica Jones" is relevant to the discussion in a way that may greatly interest The Unenthusiastic Critic.

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