I LOVE ABBA! And always have, so I, of course, saw the stage show of Mamma Mia! years ago. I liked it, and I liked the movie as well. It was perfect for my escapism needs.
Back up....several years ago someone decided to make a musical using ABBA songs. It was a big hit...ABBA fans got a reason to become dancing queens again and it brought ABBA to those people who hadn't taken a chance before. The story revolves around a young woman's wedding...she has a dream to find her father...so she invited three men from her mother's past to find which one is the right guy.
Of course the story is just a vehicle for the music but it really works. The songs fit very well. I would love to hear from someone who didn't know the songs before to see if they worked as well.
As for the movie, which follows the play tightly, I liked it...because for same reasons above and Meryl Streep. Gosh, that lady is awesome! And Kristine Baranski (musical vetern) and Julie Walters (aka Mrs. Wesley) make the perfect trio. I think Streep studied my mom for this role...the way these characters are portrayed is just how I would imagine my mom and her sisters would be singing and dancing around. And when did Remington Steele (Pierce Bronson) become a rocker? I question whether it was him singing. But it the singing overall was so organic...it seems so natural in the story and out of the actors. And the acting, especial the use of the ensemble (or chorus) was musical/farce spot on.
The visuals are beautiful...makes you want to go on vacation to Greece. And, of course, Ann Roth's costumes are great (especially the end scenes...ha, ha!).
This isn't a serious film...although a tear might fall down your cheek...but it is a classic musical. Its a Super Trooper!
I recommend it more as a rental and there are some more mature things you might hope the kids miss or you will have to explain later (so over 13+).