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MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN (2018) – My rating: 8.3/10

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is a musical romantic comedy written and directed by Ol Parker, from a story by Parker, Catherine Johnson, and Richard Curtis. It is a follow-up to the 2008 film Mamma Mia!, which in turn is based on the musical of the same name using the music of ABBA. Both a prequel and a sequel, the plot is set after the events of the first film, and also features flashbacks to 1979, telling the story of Donna Sheridan’s arrival on the island of Kalokairi and her first meetings with her daughter Sophie’s three possible fathers. I really wasn’t interested in seeing this movie, however I’m glad I did. Mamma Mia! Here we go again was a pretty descent sequel with loads of good music.  This is a feel good movie.

Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried) is preparing for the grand reopening of her mother’s Donna (Meryl Streep) hotel, following her death a year earlier. She is upset because two of her fathers, Harry Bright (Colin Firth) and Bill Anderson (Stellan Skarsgård), are unable to make it to the reopening. Additionally, she is fighting with Sky (Dominic Cooper), her husband, who is in New York.  He thinks Sophie should forget about memorializing her mother’s life and come back to New York to be with him.

In 1979, a young Donna (Lily James) has just graduated from university with young Rosie (Alexa Davies) and young Tanya (Jessica Keenan Wynn), and is getting ready to travel the world. While in Paris, she meets and parties with young Harry (Hugh Skinner). They spend the night together, but Donna leaves soon after. She later misses her boat to Kalokairi but is offered a ride by young Bill (Josh Dylan), and along the way, they are able to help a stranded fisherman, Alexio (Gerard Monaco).  Eventually, Donna arrives on an island and discovers a farmhouse. A sudden storm causes her to encounter a spooked horse in the basement. She goes in search of help only to find a young Sam (Jeremy Irvine) riding his motorcycle who helps her to save the horse.  She and Sam enjoy a whirlwind romance.

In the present, Tanya Chesham-Leigh (Christine Baranski) and Rosie Mulligan (Julie Walters) of Donna and the Dynamos, arrive to support Sophie with the reopening and to cheer up Sam Carmichael (Pierce Brosnan), who is still grieving over the death of Donna and the only one of the three fathers who is able to attend the reopening.  Also helping with the reopening is Fernando Cienfuegos (Andy Garcia), the manager of the Hotel Bella.

Mamma Mia! Here we go again turned out to be a good film full of song and dance, plus romance and happy times of an adventurous young lady who has sex with three guys around the same time and becomes pregnant.  While the story is believable, it’s also sad because these three gentlemen were all willing to spend their lives with Donna.  I liked the way the director combined the past and present, thereby allowing this sequel to be understood, even if you didn’t see the original.  I thoroughly enjoyed Mamma Mia! Here we go again, which has so many fabulous songs, sung by Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski and Jessica Keenan Wynn, as well as Meryl Streep, who I didn’t realize could sing so well, to name a few.  There is a surprise visit from Sophie’s grandmother who steals the show.  Mamma Mia! Here we go again was well received by critics and enjoyed better than average reviews.  I recommend this musical to everyone.  Check it out!