Wow, 31st day! I guess I really love this writing practice…
My kids introduced me to “Mamma Mia!” the movie a couple months ago. Oh my gosh SO FUN! The cast, the scenery, the music!! ABBA!!! And the epilogue scene of them all singing “Waterloo” is one of my favorite musical numbers, ever! I intend to convene a group of friends to reenact the singing/dancing scenes someday, what a great workout that would be, and to such great music!
I just love when the kids and I watch our favorite movies together—Harry Potter, Avengers, and now some musicals. Driving to Target today, after watching the second “Mamma Mia!” movie, I realized why I like these two films so much. It wasn’t just watching how much fun the actors obviously had making it, and oh my gosh CHER (I can still picture on the cover of my dad’s Half Breed album), and the cute story. It was the emotions. In both of these movies, the characters all feel their emotions freely. There is no repressing, numbing (well, maybe some–cake, anyone?), offloading, or prolonged rationalization. The sadness, loneliness, regret, anger, and longing, the fear and the lust, as well as the love, loyalty, devotion, grief, forgiveness, and hope—the characters display them all without shame or self-judgment. And even better, they reach out to each other for support and show up for one another in compassion and solidarity.
We also watched “While You Were Sleeping” today (it’s rainy outside and we are movie people), also a perennial favorite for me. My daughter says she doesn’t like it because of the lying. It’s stressful to keep secrets and maintain false appearances. Even watching it makes some of us uncomfortable—and now that I think about it some more, I recognize the visceral anxiety of seeing it on screen. There are many ways to create tension and conflict in a story. The “Mamma Mia!” movies do it in a lighthearted way that feels more fun than most.
In these days of widespread deception, false pretense, mistrust, evasiveness, and broken relationships, musicals like this uplift my family and me. What a cheer for all that is good about humanity, what a vote of confidence for our silly species! So grateful. We will continue to watch repeatedly, I guarantee it.