When I first heard that they were making a Mama Mia movie, I was mildly irritated. I'm not a huge ABBA fan (though I do think they're kind of silly and fun), and while I've never seen the musical, I was always just a little annoyed at the thought of this jukebox-type musical. Creating a story based on a pre-existing collection of music just isn't the best way to craft a well-written piece of theatre, in my opinion. You should start with a strong story. But you know what? Mama Mia looks like a lot of fun. And I am also of the opinion that theatre/film doesn't need to always be compelling and insightful. It doesn't have to have a world-changing message. Sometimes it's ok "just" to entertain -- escapism is one of the reasons the entertainment industry has survived all these years; not just because of thought-provoking art, but because of shows that don't necessarily make you think. We think all day at work, sometimes it's nice to sit back and be entertained. I do believe that the best entertainment will both make you think and give you simple pleasure, but I don't think that it all needs to be that way.
Anyway, I love Meryl Streep, and will see anything she does. Ever. She is just so fantastic. And I love that the producers extended the offer for her to be in the film because of her performance in Mother Courage (note: this is a weird review. it starts off saying it's not great, and then praises it for the entirety of the review, but then again, it IS a brilliantly difficult play to produce - where often the individual performances outweigh the production as a whole). That's Meryl for you though, from Brecht to ABBA in one fell swoop.
I'm seeing Mama Mia with my college roommate when I go home in a few weeks, and I'm really excited. I think I'm not ashamed to admit it anymore either. It looks like so much fun! And the girl playing Sophie (the main girl, the daughter, the one getting married - I had to look it up on imdb) is from Mean Girls! And people (read: I'm excited about Meryl) do their own singing! YEAH!