I watched “Mamma Mia!” last weekend. To retain my street cred, I should pretend I rented it by accident. “I meant to rent ‘Taken’ and they put the wrong DVD in the case.”
I watched “Mamma Mia!” last weekend.
To retain my street cred (1), I should pretend I rented it by accident. “I meant to rent ‘Taken’ and they put the wrong DVD in the case.”
Musicals have an advantage over non-musicals. Your mind can wander for a few minutes without missing key elements of the plot.
You can’t do that with a non-musical. It isn’t possible to footnote a movie, so if your brain strays from what’s on screen, you could miss something important. (2)
In the case of “Mamma Mia” (3) it’s easy to achieve brain-drift because the songs are pop classics, so there’s an impulse to reflect on what it was like to hear them on AM?radio.
My mind wandered during the non-musical parts of Mamma Mia (4), too, but that was mostly limited to “I wonder which?ABBA?tune will come next?” (5)
With movies like "Mamma Mia!", the trick is to fit the songs to the plot. That doesn’t mean you have to pretend a group’s "Greatest Hits" album would serve as a conceptual “whole” and try to create a film around that, but there needs to be at least a loose connection between a familiar song and an unfamiliar storyline.?(6)
Sorry to cut this short. I have to go work a musical score for this column, so it can be made into a movie.
There goes my street cred.?(bb)
(1) I have no street cred.
(2)?Although you could always rewind and watch that part over again. (a)
(3)?I left out the exclamation point. It’s part of the title, but if you read it in the middle of a sentence it seems like I’m getting excited about the title itself!
(4) I omitted the quotation marks, but I know you know I know they’re supposed to be there.
(5) At one point, I thought, “If they don’t do ‘S.O.S,’?somebody’s gonna regret it.”
(6)?Moviemakers get into trouble if they try to get too complex. That happened with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,”?the 1978?film that was universally panned for good reason — even though I?never saw it. I just trust everyone’s judgment (b), which ruins my street cred. (c)
(a) Can we still safely say “rewind” in a DVD context without being ridiculed by smug people born in post-VHS times?
(b). Although I did once own the “Sgt. Pepper” soundtrack and that was proof enough. (aa)
(c) ?I?have no street cred.
(aa) Regarding soundtracks: Does it seem strange to build a movie around a band’s music, then release a soundtrack??It’s like reinventing the wheel, using parts from the same wheel.
(bb) I?have no street cred.
Dennis Volkert is features editor at the Sturgis Journal. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org