It's been a few days since I saw MAMMA MIA, but I've still got those damned songs stuck in my head. The problems with this film are so plentiful that it's almost impossible to list them all.
First off, when the hell is this movie supposed to be taking place? The lead girl is 20, supposedly conceived 20ish years ago, which would be 1988. But photos of the potential parents sure look like the 60s! Except that ABBA's songs did not exist until much later... nothing in any timeline makes sense, unless the film is supposed to be a period piece, and it's never explained if that's supposed to be the case.
Then there is the awful lighting and makeup. The three older women should sue the makeup artist. Streep looks about 100 years old... and about 50 pounds overweight! The lighting makes the whole movie look like it was shot green-screen even though it wasn't!
The plot is a lame sitcom plot. Admittedly, most musicals have stupid plots, so I would have bought the story if the rest of the movie had been better. There are WAY too many characters for them to be developed well enough to be anything more than stereotypes.
Then there's the music. ABBA had about 4 good songs. (And by good, I mean they had a decent hook and a memorable melody. It ain't great art no matter how you slice it.) Once you get past the title song and "Dancing Queen," it's a long, long wait for "Take a Chance" (which is thrown away) and "Waterloo," which makes no sense in the movie. The rest of the songs are completely forgettable, and very, very similar in sound. I think all of them are in C major.
If the music in a musical isn't worth listening to, there's no movie.