Sing along to ABBA's greatest hits as you watch a beautiful and funny story unfold in a gorgeous Greek island setting…

The Story

Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is a young bride-to-be who lives on a beautiful Greek island with her fiancé Sky (Dominic Cooper) and single mum Donna (Meryl Streep), who runs a self-made B&B hotel here. Even though Sophie is looking forward to her wedding, there is one thing missing: A father who will lead her to the aisle! Because Sophie doesn't know her biological father, she sends out three identical wedding invitations to three possible candidates (Pierce BrosnanColin Firth and Stellan Skarsgård).

When the three men arrive on the island without the knowledge of Donna, this means chaos and confusion…

Scene from “Mamma Mia!” © Universal Studios

Scene from “Mamma Mia!” © Universal Studios

But since Mamma Mia! is a musical-film, the men also join into a big, jolly party together with Sophie, Sky, Donna and Donna's girlfriends. Spiced up with all the chart toppers of Swedish success band ABBA, expect a lot of dancing, singing and gorgeous Greek paradise beach scenes…

The Location

Most of the outdoor scenes were shot on the Greek islands of Skiathos and Skopelos. The Old Port on Skiathos, for example, served as the harbour at which Harry and Sam arrive in identical cabs. On the island of Skopelos, Sophie drops her three wedding invitations in the post box and reads the diary to her friends. 

Lalaria Beach on Skiathos. Photo: Wikipedia Commons / By Harout Arabian from Bourj Hammoud, Lebanon

Lalaria Beach on Skiathos. Photo: Wikipedia Commons / By Harout Arabian from Bourj Hammoud, Lebanon

Kastani Beach, which is located on the western coast of Skopelos, was used for the scene in which the loved-up couple Sky and Sophie sang "Lay All Your Love On Me" and as the setting for the beach bar performance of "Does Your Mother Know?". 

The cast of “Mamma Mia!” © Universal Studios

The cast of “Mamma Mia!” © Universal Studios

The indoor scenes such as those in Donna's B&B hotel or the wedding chapel, were actually filmed in England, more precisely at the Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire where all the interiors were built especially for the film.

The Performance

Some sing better than others, but Amanda Seyfried and Meryl Streep, who both took over leading roles in this flick, are definitely doing an amazing job! I do think that Meryl Streep does an amazing jobs in all of her films though, so perhaps I am a bit biased… but she clearly proved that she can sing as well.

Meryl Streep in “Mamma Mia!” © Universal Studios

Meryl Streep in “Mamma Mia!” © Universal Studios

The film is also a very funny one, so there are naturally a lot of "laugh out moments". Plus, Mamma Mia! is an unique opportunity to see James Bond aka Pierce Brosnan and Mr. Darcy from Bridget Jones aka Colin Firth dancing to ABBA songs in super tight, glittering onesies. I guess that was fashionable in the Seventies… 🙂

Stellan Skarsgård joins the cast as the only real Swedish dude and proves that he's got quite a good sense of humour, too!

Dancing scene from “Mamma Mia!” © Universal Studios

Dancing scene from “Mamma Mia!” © Universal Studios

My verdict: A little bit cheesy at times, but overall a feel good movie par excellence, not only for ABBA fans! If you ever feel down, this one will lift you right up! 

**** 4 out of 5 stars

Meryl Streep in “Mamma Mia!” © Universal Studios

Meryl Streep in “Mamma Mia!” © Universal Studios

Travel Tip: Discover all about Sweden's most famous musical act ABBA at the ABBA museum in Stockholm! And for all those who just cannot get enough of Dancing Queen and would like to feel as if they've stepped right into the film – the adjacent Pop House Hotel even offers the possibility to book a Mamma Mia! party package.

Film Tip: If you enjoyed Mamma Mia! you may also like the musical-film Walking on Sunshine (2014). Instead of showcasing the Greek islands, this one was filmed in the lesser known, but euqally gorgeous South Italian region of Apulia

Over to you: What do you think about this musical-film combination? Has the film perhaps even inspired you to travel to Greece yourself?  Let me know in the comments below!

About The Author

I am an ex London expat now living back in Germany. My second home is the cinema. If you don't find me there I am probably travelling the world in order to trace my favourite film settings while trying to stay on a budget. On filmfantravel.com, I combine these two passions to share my best tips about film-inspired budget travel. Join the journey on Twitter! @filmfantravel

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