Mamma Mia! The Movie: Exploring a Cultural Phenomenon (BOK)
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Mamma Mia! The Movie (2008) was one of the top international box-office hits of its year and the fastest selling DVD in British history. Responses were passionate but polarized: while legions of fans participated in celebratory sing-along screenings, critics dismissed it as a 'Super Pooper'. The critical split often ran along the fault line of gender, with 'snobbish and misogynist' male critics initially unimpressed by the uninhibited, tongue-in-cheek frivolity of this rare film written, produced and directed by women. When won over, critics termed the triumph of emotion over intellect as a seduction, evoking the question of the film's theme song: 'How Can I Resist You?' This welcome first book on a twenty-first-century cultural phenomenon explores these diverse responses to Mamma Mia!, ranging from enthusiastic embrace to utter repudiation, and investigates key issues such as the film's representation of female friendship, its depiction of maternal and paternal identities and the focus on the older female protagonist, as well as its status as 'jukebox' musical, queer text and product of female authorship. Empire magazine's critic Ian Nathan concluded his bemused account of the film's unprecedented success by stating: 'Mamma Mia! is not like other films'. This book aims to explore exactly how and why that is the case.