Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again: Kind Of A Disappointment

Sophia Longo, Staff Writer

If you’re like me, you were excitedly counting down the days until July 20th, 2018 — the premiere of “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”. After growing up with the first “Mamma Mia!” at the core of my upbringing, I could not contain my excitement at the prospect of a sequel. 

My mom, aunt, and I had been eagerly discussing possible storylines for months leading up to the release. When the teaser trailer came out, we were all slightly troubled by the absence of the beloved Donna Sheridan, aka Meryl Streep. But we put our worries aside, chalking it up to Streep having a smaller role.

When we arrived to the movie theater on the release date, everyone was buzzing with anticipation. Because it was so crowded, we ended up with seats in the very front row, but our excitement overruled any disappointment about our not so preferable location in the theater.

About 5 minutes into the movie, it became clear that Meryl Streep’s character, Donna Sheridan, did not have a smaller role, but had in fact died. While this was of course startling and upsetting, it was not completely unexpected.

Trying to put the disappointment aside, I attempted to become invested in the story. The trouble was, there wasn’t much of a story to become invested in. While I found it interesting learning about Donna’s background and the famous tale of Sophie’s three possible fathers, nothing new was introduced in this sequel. Much of the sequel’s storyline was already told in the first film, making the first one more engaging and interesting.

Also, the songs in the sequel seemed far too contemporary and pop-like, and appeared to be thrown in randomly for the purpose of having songs, whereas the songs in the first film fit the plot of the story without losing the greatness of what the popular 70’s band, ABBA, had created.

The first film was fun and the songs were purposeful and catchy. The acting felt more honest, or at least as honest as it can in a musical, and that can all be contributed to Meryl Streep’s performance in the first film. I know everyone is probably tired of hearing Meryl Streep constantly referred to as the best actress in the world, but I truthfully feel that it was she that made the first movie so special. With her at the center of the first film, all the relationships and songs had depth and evoked genuine emotion from the audience, which is most likely why the entire theater was in tears at her surprise reappearance in the second film.

Although I was disappointed at certain elements, the second film was not entirely lousy. It was very much a feel-good movie and some of the songs were really well done, but the magic of the first film was lost. I most likely would’ve enjoyed it more if I didn’t have the first one to compare it to. But, because it was the sequel to an iconic movie, I think it could have been done much better.