Thursday, July 10, 2008

MAMA MIA! Greece is the Word

Tonight, there will be two screenings of MAMA MIA! at the DGA for a special all gay OUTFEST sneak peak.

They are sold out, of course, but there will be 25-55 open seats if you come stand in the wait line!

I saw the film Sunday and I am more excited about this than I think anyone should be.

The film reminded me of the same spirit GREASE had back when I was 7, and MAMA MIA! is very much that musical for the AARP set. I don't think any of the leads are under 50!

Clocking in at 59, is La Streep, giving yet another fully committed performance. With DEVIL WEARS PRADA, Streep caught the attention of the gays once again (I have been at the house of a gay man when he literally fast forwarded through that film on dvd just to watch her scenes. Repeatedly.) - I mean, who could forget "cerulean".

Below is a special SmokingCocktail sneak peek at MAMA MIA! which includes an interview with Streep along with two of my favorite clips from the film and some fun behind-the- scenes video of the shoot in stunning Greece. The first clip I call "and the Oscar goes to".

There is a long history of strong, in-your-face women that have wowed gay men with their "he done her wrong" but she's going to throw it back in your face performances (Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Judy Garland)and this is Meryl's diva moment when she belts out THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL to her former lover who left her twenty years ago to marry another woman.

With a record number of Oscar nominations - 14 - Streep has only won twice - supporting actress for KRAMER VS KRAMER and best actress for SOPHIE'S CHOICE. Between this role, and her upcoming part in DOUBT, I wouldn't be surprised if she got two noms come January.

The second clip is there so you can start practicing your dance moves for the screening tonight. I will be profoundly disappointed if you gays don't get out of your seats and dance!

The film is very light fare, with the plot and characters taking twists constantly to work in the musical numbers, but the entire cast is fantastic and the direction is just stellar. The producers tapped an opera director (and out lesbian) Phyllida Lloyd to helm this, and it has a beautiful look to it which really captures the essence of the Greek Isles (washed out colors, a lot of back lighting). Her style is like Baz Lurhman (Moulin Rouge) and Julie Taymor (Across the Universe) only completely tamed down and assessable as opposed to in your face colorful and extravagant. Her musical numbers work their way nicely into the fanciful and the sets and cinematography don't overpower the performances (just add a lovely, luscious palette).

Personally, I don't think I've ever seen straight women do Drag numbers until this. I mean, the two numbers at the end are very Priscilla Queen of the Greek Isles, and not just the ladies don we now our gay apparel of sequins, platform shoes and boas! (But I'm not giving anything away!)

Mostly this is a feel good movie. If you like music, love, dance and jumping up and down about it, this film is for you. If you're cynical, grumpy or totally out of touch with your inner child, it's best maybe to sit this one out.

See you tonight my little dancing queens!

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