Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again ★★★★½

90

There are movies, and then there's Mamma Mia. Luxurious seashores, hotels, courtyards, and churches, all set to a warm, soothing sun and the tune of Abba. The women radiate light and maturity and happiness, and the men dolt around day-drunk and either aim to fix their mistakes or create new problems with a jovial grin on their face. Everyone tries their best. They fuck up anyway. They sing about it. They make up. All of it is in song. You know the deal. It's an Opera of queens and buffoons, set near the end of the world and carried along by sand and pleasant summer air, and yet, Here We Go Again soars beyond 'belated sequel' territory because it represents the best of what we can be. Being there for a young woman even though she might not even be your daughter. Putting your ambitions aside to allow your partner's dreams to succeed and flourish. Apologizing for what you've done wrong, and meaning it. Really meaning it. Mamma Mia is a universe of finding beauty and hope in the most dastardly of problems, and singing into the night, the twilight still allowing that last verse of dance across the sky, and Here We Go Again brilliantly links the past and present of the world, often communicating through dreamy, ghostly inter-cutting to convey how time goes on, grows old, but still has that same gleeful laugh, and the smile lingers the same way, rising just a little before it falls back into place. The songs that fill our spaces provide entertainment for those who have left and those who are still here, and we all breathe the same air, at one time or another. Music can connect two lost-lovers in the span of seconds. It can make a rainy day feel a little more cozy. It can remind you of a special wandering someone. It can even make them, if only for a little while, bring them back, just for you to look at and see once more. This movie is full of some of the most delectable pleasures you'll see in a movie: Lily James being drop-dead stunning, Pierce Brosnan being a wise old caring version of his 20s fuck-boy self, Amanda Seyfried filling the screen with her eyes, Cher being Cher. But Here We Go Again upstages cinema and sheds its musical costuming to become a effortless lament for the lost and the found - singing for the young and the old, the horny and the tired, the vibrant and the free, the depressed and the anxious, the romantics and the pessimists to say once and for all that we're alive! And let's kiss and dance and say what we mean and mean what we say because soon we'll be gone and the voices will fade. Let your heart sing for others - they need a tune.

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