Monday, 25 August 2008

Mamma Mia!

So I went to see Mamma Mia the other day. Not a great film, but quite fun in it's cheesy happy-go-lucky fashion. What struck me about it was how cleverly it is aimed at it's target audience.

Based on the songs of ABBA, the main target audience are the ABBA generation: people that were young in ABBA's heyday, though of course they don't want to rule out any young people that may want to jump on the disco bandwagon. Therefore the main characters are three middle-aged women (around the current age of the original ABBA fans), three middle-aged men, and a young couple. The story centres around the preparations for the young couple's wedding on a Greek island. Unbeknownst to her mother Donna, the young bride has invited three potential 'fathers', men from Donna's past who she slept with in quick succession back in the glory days.

The effect of this is as the audience get all nostaligic with the ABBA tunes they know and love (which have been largely left as they are), Donna is confronted by her past. There are almost two eras taking place simultaneously as the daughter prepares for her wedding, having her own youthful adventure, Donna is reliving hers periodically regressing into an almost teenage state (particularly in her rendition of Mamma Mia).

All angles are covered! Men and women of the ABBA generation get characters they can identify with as do the new generation. Rather than restricting the proceedings to pure nostalgia, flashbacks or simply being set in the past, the film simply draws parallels between the events of the film and the events from the past they are celebrating.

The Winner Takes it All is the highlight.

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