Mamma Mia! (2008)
There is loads of positive energy and abundances of great songs, but director Phillida Lloyd is far from able to knead this lackadaisical and dated plot into a well-functioning film. The original stage format shines through a bit too much. The good thing about this is that the film has an uplifting and uniformly optimistic quality - and this shouldn't be underestimated. But the negative effect unfortunately neutralizes the positives as Lloyd's uncritical direction and overfocus on an annoying plot in which we are asked to care for characters who are forced to appear stupid in order not to reveal the long-winded, predictable and, to be honest, unaccounted narrative twists.
Without Meryl Streep, this film could have fallen completely flat, but the brilliantly versatile 59-year-old's ability to turn every bit of material into quality makes Mamma Mia! an enjoyable film, despite its drawbacks. Of course, it is imperative to like the music of Abba in order to be truly able to enjoy Mamma Mia!, but if you do, the musical numbers - of which many are brilliantly performed (especially Streep's rendition of "The Winner Takes It All") - should be able to do the trick.