Many critics in the UK are panning Mamma Mia. They are saying that it's over the top and silly and completely falls flat.
I disagree. Whole-heartedly, by the way.
Let's get one thing straight. The musical was never about good dialogue and strong acting. It was a story of stilted dialogue and silliness intended to help move from one Abba song to another. It never had the complexity of Wicked or the subversiveness of Avenue Q or the social commentary of Rent. It didn't even have the depth you find in an Oscar and Hammerstein or Lerner/Lowe classic. It was, is, and always will be High School Musical with middle aged protagonists. While we have all seen more intense, nuanced and dramatic performances from the actors involved, this is not Sophie's Choice or Pride and Prejudice. Or even Cybil. This is an all singing, all dancing tribute to one of the best pop bands ever, and I think they all delivered a funny, sing-along performance that deserves commendation. In fact, I think Meryl Streep is amazing. Talk about range....she can go from dingoes eating her baby and holocaust horror to being a fiendish fashion editor and a hippie mom who makes vibrator jokes and a voice that can even tackle The Winner Takes It All. Now THAT is talent.
So quit your high-brow griping and let it be exactly what it is. A great way to wile away some time on a summer's evening.