The Guilty Pleasures: “ABBA: The Movie”

Chad Hoolihan

Having no affiliation with any spiritual or philosophical movements, Chad instead attempts to find meaning through watching movies.  He also enjoys  watching birds fight over food in supermarket parking lots.

You may also like...

5 Responses

  1. Nigel Druitt says:

    My wife is not an ABBA fan. She watched Mamma Mia! three times in the space of about a month. (Twice, she made me.) This is a woman who doesn’t even want to re-watch a movie she liked unless at least a year or two has passed. When she watched Mamma Mia! with some friends, I thought I was safe, but the next time we went out to rent (yeah, at a real video store), she wanted to get Mamma Mia! I couldn’t talk her out of it. Then, later, I was foolish enough to buy it for her.

    Of course, as far as musicals go (far from a favorite genre of mine), I guess it’s not that bad. It’s just that it makes me want to strangle James Bond to put him out of his misery. But then, it already sounds like somebody’s strangling him.

    My wife’s favorite movies include Anne of Green Gables, The Sound of Music and Dirty Dancing. I’ll never be able to get her to watch my Flickchart #1, The Lord of the Rings, with me. Fortunately, our tastes mesh a bit better with TV shows…

    • ChadHoolihan says:

      Mamma Mia! is a profoundly girlie movie.  I have no problem sitting through most romantic comedies, but Mamma Mia! makes me want to eat beef jerky and shoot things.  But I probably wouldn’t hate the movie so much if it wasn’t for the relentless butchery of ABBA’s music.  I like ABBA.  I don’t see how any person who truly appreciates their music can possibly stand sitting through Mamma Mia! without taking a sledgehammer to the DVD player.  I can only assume that female viewers who like the movie are viewing it from a different perspective than I am.  Male viewers who like Mamma Mia!… well, that’s a total mystery. 

  2. Reddy Kilowatt says:

    Nicely done, Chad. But I never feel guilty about admitting how much I admire Abba.

    You might have mentioned that “Abba: The Movie” was one of the first films directed by future multiple Oscar nominee Lasse Hallestrom. And Hallestrom knew Abba, having directed most of their music videos (this was before they were even called music videos). And those little films were truly pioneering: Abba was probably the first act to use specially produced music video to break into new markets, especially Australia.

    You might also have mentioned that “S.O.S” is itself a small masterpiece, a song Pete Townshend has called the best pop song ever written, and I happen to agree with him. (Townshend, by the way, was an avowed Abba fan, something his daughter confirmed, saying their house was filled with Abba’s music when she was growing up.)

    I will take one minor issue with you on the subject of Mamma Mia!, the movie. Tune out the tortured voice of Mr. Brosnan and listen to the backing track: it’s pure, faithfully recreated Abba, by some of the band’s original musicians, including Lasse Wellander on guitar, Per Lindvall on drums, the fabulous Rutgar Gunnarsson on bass and the incomparable Benny Andersson on keyboards. The instrumental tracks on the Mamma Mia! soundtrack sound great.

    • Chad Hoolihan says:

      Yeah, I know about Lasse Hallström. I’ve seen a few of his other films
      (The Shipping News most recently), and I own ABBA: The Definitive
      Collection. When I wrote the article I was focusing more on the movie
      (and my discovery of ABBA that lead to my watching it) rather than the
      information you mentioned. I guess it would’ve been possible to fit
      Hallström in there somewhere without disrupting the flow of the article.

      for Mamma Mia!, I just don’t care for the story or performances. The
      “SOS: fiasco certainly didn’t help much. None of the musical numbers
      did anything for me. As far as the singing, anyway.

      Thanks for
      commenting. Glad to hear from a fellow fan. I don’t feel guilty for
      liking ABBA either. Maybe the “guilty” part was the booty-centric
      nature of the article.

  1. May 25, 2012

    […] Apparently, there was even an ABBA movie released in 1977, something that I only recently learned from right here on the Flickchart blog. Flickchart is fun and educational, it turns […]