Return to 1979 as Donna sets out to find herself in the sequel to Mamma Mia.
Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is determined to re-open her mother’s hotel and make it a success after her mother’s death. In the days leading up to the opening, things go wrong—weather, travel and missing loved ones—turn the event into a disaster. Feeling like she’s let her mother down, Sophie wallows in despair.
Through flashbacks to 1979, we see Donna (Lily James) set out after her college graduation. She meets up with Harry (Hugh Skinner) in Paris but she’s called by fate to Greece. Along the way, she meets Bill (Josh Dylan) who gives her a lift to the island, Kalokairi, where she ends up staying in a run-down home and meets Sam (Jeremy Irvine), who is escaping his responsibilities back in the US.
Each man is one of Sophie’s potential fathers who are determined to get to the grand re-opening. Sam (Pierce Brosnan), who married Donna (Meryl Streep) at the end of Mamma Mia, lives on the island in a home overlooking the hotel. His wife’s death has weighed on him but he’s determined to do anything and everything to help Sophie. Donna’s best friends, Tanya (Christine Baranski) and Rosie (Julie Walters) return to the villa to kick off the party. Sadly, Sophie’s husband, Sky (Dominic Cooper) is in New York and can’t be there…in fact, he’s been offered a job of a lifetime to stay in New York.
Sophie’s and Donna’s worlds combine when Sophie finds out she’s pregnant in the same place as her mother. As she grapples with her mother’s loss, the coming baby brings her closer than ever to her mom.
Featuring more songs by ABBA, Mamma Mia 2 is a grittier story with more emotion than the first one. This one will require tissues! The first movie focused on family and fathers while this movie’s focus is on mothers as we learn more about Donna’s early life.
Cher shows up in a cameo which seems forced and not really needed. But hey, it’s Cher. Lily James as a young Donna is entertaining. For fans of the original, there were many secret nods to only things fans will get—twins, spontaneous, Titanic recreations. While many of the songs aren’t as well known, they will quickly become some of your favorites. Two of the members of ABBA even show up in cameos. The musical numbers are fun with strong dance numbers and toe tapping songs.
There are some continuity issues from the first movie which become glaring when you re-watch the first soon after seeing the second. But that’s what happens when ten years pass between two movies and when writers are forced to use songs to tell a story. Suspend disbelief and go along for the ride. Mamma Mia will appeal to fans of the original. The theater was filled with groups of women out enjoying some camaraderie together, celebrating life.
PS. Be sure to stay for a special after credits scene….way at the end!
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