Mamma Mia The Movie! Exploring a cultural phenomenon

Louise Fitzgerald (Editor), Melanie Williams (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook - edited

Abstract

This book examines diverse aspects of the phenomenally successful film Mamma Mia, owned on DVD by an estimated one in four British households as well as enjoying significant box-office status in Sweden, Finland, Japan, Australia, America, Germany, France and Greece, and the subject of a sing-along subculture. Its popularity has been accounted for in terms of global economic recession, fitting into ideas of the musical functioning as escapism since the classical Hollywood period. However, despite Mamma Mia's outstanding international success amongst filmgoers, reviewers have critiqued what they perceive as its "cumulative weight of terribleness" and warned that those who loved the film would have to "prove their intelligence". Such sentiments reflect an established polarisation of films as either 'high' or 'low' brow entertainment, and their audiences as either critically engaged or an uneducated mass of consumers, sentiments often couched in gendered terms reinforcing the idea that films addressed to a male audience have more cultural capital than those addressed to women. The essays in this edited collection look at Mamma Mia! in terms of its commercial success, its critical denigration, and how issues of class, gender and popular culture are articulated in the film and within debates about it.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherI.B.Tauris
Number of pages256
ISBN (Print)9781848859418
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2012

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