Just when we thought we would never know the juicy details of Donna Sheridan’s iconic summer abroad, our painfully long 10 year wait is over as the second “Mamma Mia!” blessed theaters this Summer 2018.
“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” is part prequel, part sequel and wholly fantastic. This follow-up flick crushes every second-movie stereotype and delivers with the all of the familiar, ABBA-infused goodness of the 2008 classic – and still makes all of us want to grab the nearest pair of platform boots and hop on the next flight to Greece.
(And don’t worry about any spoilers up ahead – VALLEY would never ruin this much of a classic.)
Set five years after the original movie, “Mamma Mia!” round two is a rollercoaster ride of emotions from start to finish, opening with a bombshell announcement that VALLEY suggests you prepare for (big time). Present day, we follow Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried), as she plans for a massive reopening of her mother’s villa, along with a few other personal dilemmas herself – and the nostalgia hits as soon as we get the first glimpse of that flawless Grecian landscape. From the crystal clear water and the perfect summer weather to that unmistakable hotel itself, everything about the set of the movie remains as spot on as it was 10 years ago.
Even more heartwarming than the return of the island of Kalokairi is the comeback of the characters we all know and love, as they belt out the ABBA songs we’ve had committed to memory since 2008 (along with a few new classics). The return of everyone, from Tanya (Christine Baranski) and Rosie (Julie Walters), who put the “Dynamos” in everyone’s favorite girl group, to the iconic trio of equally lovable dads Sam (Pierce Brosnan), Bill (Stellan Skarsgård) and Harry (Colin Firth), immediately brings happy-tears to everyone’s eyes.
Before we know it the film flashes back in time to the ’70s, where we witness the full story behind the summer that brought Donna to that iconic island in the first place.
We first meet young Donna, played flawlessly by Lily James, after her college graduation (that you already know is no ordinary graduation ceremony) joined by her two lifelong best friends, Tanya (Jessica Keenan Wynn) who nails her original older character’s iconic sass, and classically lovable Rosie (Alexa Davies), who brings some insanely relatable lines to the table. Oh, and if you thought you fell in love with the original three of Donna’s summer loves, get ready to fall in love all over again – but even harder.
Young Harry (Hugh Skinner) back when he was still dubbed “Headbanger,” Bill Anderson (Josh Dylan) when he was just starting to set sail, and Sam Carmichael (Jeremy Irvine) budding architect heartthrob, are more than perfect versions of the dreamboat, summer loves we’ve been trying to mentally picture all by ourselves.
While the whole point of the much needed flashback is to tell the true love story behind the mystery of Sophie’s dads, Donna’s free-spirited attitude and strong sense of self, even in the midst of heartbreak and all around drama, is the star of the show.
Right from the start, young Donna gives us all a much needed dose of just how important it is to trust your gut without any second guessing and, although we’ve all heard it before, to live as much as we possibly can while we’re young.
The film as a whole emphasizes the importance of sticking by the people who you love – from family to friends to any significant other (or three) – and, of course, sometimes all we need is a little song break.
And if you already haven’t left this article half-read to immediately hit your local theater and take in “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” for yourself, VALLEY suggests that before you do, to give the first movie (now available on Netflix) a quick re-watch.
So brush up on your vocals, pack a few extra tissues for when the (totally inevitable) tears hit and get ready to dance as much as you possibly can while sitting in a movie theater recliner. Let us know what you think of “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” on Twitter at @VALLEYmag!