Alphabetical Movie – Mamma Mia!
I’m just going to come right out and admit I love ABBA. It will save a lot of time later. I think I was purchasing cassettes (yes cassettes) of ABBA before any other band. Maybe I had an Andy Gibb record (yes record) before that.
So was I in the theatre opening weekend for Mamma Mia?
I’d rather not say.
Here’s the thing that gets me about this film every time I watch it and yes, I’ve watched it more than once.
Holy shit is Pierce Brosnan a horrible singer. Like embarrassingly bad. I cringe every time he has to sing a solo in the film. I feel bad for him, I feel bad for his fellow performers, and I feel bad for every single person who is watching the film.
Brosnan is an actor I like. I thought he made a very good Bond. I liked The Thomas Crown Affair. I love The Matador.
So I don’t hate Brosnan as an actor. He’s probably a great guy.
But when someone asked him to play the male lead in a musical, didn’t he answer with “have you heard me sing?”
And if that was his answer, why did someone respond “don’t worry Pierce – it’ll be fine?”
I have news for you, folks, IT IS NOT FINE.
They have Colin Firth playing a role in this film and he gets exactly one solo. He has a great voice.
You keep waiting for him to get a song all to himself and it never comes. Instead, they keep letting Brosnan sing. It’s like they are hitting you over the head with a hate this musical stick.
I guess that bad singing can be popular. Bob Dylan has made a living out of not being able to sing. Rex Harrison was a huge musical star and, as far as I can tell, he never sang an actual note of music in his life. Neither did Maurice Chevalier. They both spoke rhythmically.
These men set a precedent for talking their way through musical numbers. I’m not saying that I think ABBA should sound like beat poetry but maybe if Brosnan had talked through “SOS,” I wouldn’t want to curl up in a ball when I hear the opening strains of the song.
They have a sing along option on the DVD of Mamma Mia and we’ve hosted a couple of sing along parties (shut up).
When we get to Brosnan solos, we mute the sound so we won’t hear him.
That’s right – a dozen or so people singing loudly off-key is better than the slightest possibility that we could hear a single strain of Brosnan in “Our Last Summer.”
When they cast musicals these days do they even think about whether or not the star can sing? Do they just say “hey, I want Johnny Depp” in Sweeny Todd” and never ask if he can carry a tune?
I’m asking this because having someone who can sing in a musical is kind of important.
But I’ll tell you what. I’ll accept any celebrity casting you want to do in your musical. As long as nobody ever casts Pierce Brosnan.
Tim, I feel your pain.
As a Broadway Musical addict, I am convinced whenever some producer or studio thinks casting a big name will overcome that name’s complete lack of musical talent when they turn plays into movies, a fairy dies somewhere. Honest! It’s got to be the truth.
They never seem to even consider the possibility of putting a “star” with some vocal talent (and they certainly do exist) or (gasp!) putting an unknown or a not-so-well-known stage actor who can sing their ass off into a lead part.