I took my ten-year-old daughter to see “Mamma Mia” today. It was more fun than I expected, mostly because one number–“Dancing Queen”–was so incredible it brought tears to my eyes. There’s something about seeing a throng of middle-aged women who LOOK like middle-aged women because they have non-Hollywood, perfectly imperfect bodies dancing and singing like young girls. It made me want to stand up and cheer. Annie and I looked at each other at the end of it and we were both laughing out of sheer joy. The rest of the movie might not have lived up to that one scene, but that’s okay–most movies don’t even give you that much.
It was a good choice for mother/daughter bonding too, since there’s a ton of mother/daughter stuff going on. There’s one great moment where the mother, thinking her daughter’s unhappy with her bridegroom, says, “Don’t worry, we’ll call off the wedding,” and the daughter flies into a rage, saying, “That’s what you want, not what I want,” and having just spent the morning fighting with my daughter over one thing or another, it was so nice to see that we’re not the only duo who butt heads for no good reason whatsoever, simply because we’re both female and emotional and dramatic and quick to jump to wrong conclusions or to feel hurt when no hurt was intended.
And I learned one important lesson from the movie: women over a certain age really DO need to cut their hair to shoulder length or shorter. I love Meryl Streep but that long, stringy hair looked pretty awful on her. I was so happy when she finally put it up in a knot at the end of the movie and looked as beautiful as she is. I figure I have a few more years with hair as long as mine and them I’m cutting it. Or am I wrong about this one?