Here’s something I’ve been wanting to get off my chest for a while: I am a huge, unrepentant Mamma Mia! fan. Go ahead and mock me if you want, I can take it. Look, the filmmakers obviously knew they were shooting an monumentally absurd campfest, so judge it on its own terms. The ABBA songs are unimpeachable silly-pop masterpieces. The plot is paper-thin but very sweet. And yes, the choreography is careless, and Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth have frankly awful singing voices. But somehow the cast’s what-the-hell enthusiasm, in spite of all their own obvious limitations, made the movie even more fun for me. It’s just like Christine Fenno said back in January, when the trailer got her psyched to see Meryl Streep in “a performance which, if not perfectly in tune, will probably be full of joy.” Exactly! What kind of gnarled soul must one have not to crack a smile at the sight of a world-renowned Oscar winner belting out “Dancing Queen” in overalls?
Whew. That was liberating. Anyway, I mention all this because I could hardly believe my eyes when I spied this news story. (H/t, Annie Barrett!) Starting next Friday, Universal is rolling out Mamma Mia!: The Sing-Along Edition. They’ll be screening the whole movie again in select theaters with the lyrics flashing on the screen as subtitles, and encouraging people to dance and sing their hearts out. Could this be any more perfect? The best part of Mamma Mia! was that over-the-top amateurish energy — most of the lead “singers” might as well have been random audience members at a big multiplex jamboree. And while I didn’t realize it was even possible to ramp up that anything-goes camp factor any further, this should do the trick. If this means Mamma Mia! has a shot at becoming a Rocky Horror-style cult phenomenon through the decades, I will be beyond thrilled. So is it just me? Or is anyone else really, really hoping one of those “select theaters” is in your town?