By weaving together the story of Sophie’s life today with that of her mother Donna in her youth, the film manages to be both a sequel and a prequel to Mamma Mia!
Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), who was a bride-to-be trying to find her real father in the first film, is now pregnant and fulfilling Donna’s dream of opening a hotel on the Greek island of Kalokairi.
Meryl Streep originally played Donna, but this time Lily James portrays a younger version of the character as flashbacks reveal more of her past. Each fleeting love story is enchanting in its own way as we see how she met the awkward Harry (Hugh Skinner), flirtatious Bill (Josh Dylan) and swoon-worthy Sam (Jeremy Irvine).
These young actors join the star-studded cast of the first film – including Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård and Pierce Brosnan (who play the now-mature former lovers), Julie Waters, Christine Baranski, and newcomer Cher as Donna’s mum.
Here We Go Again deals with loss and sadness among the sparkles, flared pants and idyllic setting, as it soon becomes clear why Streep had such a small part in the trailer. The film is an ode to motherhood, friendship and the family you choose; it is about finding your place in the world and remembering what, or who, is most important.
Highlights among the musical numbers include “Waterloo”, as Harry convinces Donna to spend the night with him; “Mamma Mia”, as a comeback anthem after one of the men is caught cheating; and “Fernando”, as Cher’s debut song in the film.
A few lesser-known ABBA songs also make their way into the film, with varying success. There are times when the music drags and the plot is left to linger, and others when you can’t help dancing in your seat or shedding a few tears.
With such strong casting, plenty of humour, and a story that is emotional, heart-warming and over-the-top fun, this is a sequel worth watching. Here we go again … and how can we resist?
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