How to Watch <i>Mamma Mia</i> Before the Sequel Comes to Theaters


Mamma Mia, here we go again. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) But there’s going to be a sequel to your favorite ABBA musical-turned-movie musical—and that’s the actual title! In case you’ve forgotten, Mamma Mia! hit theaters in 2008, starring Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried as a mother–daughter pair who break out into ’70s Swedish pop hits at the drop of a hat. Obviously, it was a major success, hence the forthcoming, entirely original sequel, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, which will feature even more bell-bottomed hits, gorgeous island settings, and Cher. For that reason alone, it will be one of this summer’s must-sees.

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For those of you who need a refresh, the first film can be streamed right now on Netflix, YouTube, or Amazon Prime. And for those of you who need your fix in five minutes or less? On the idyllic Greek (fictional) island Kalokairi, Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried) is about to marry her hot beau, Sky (Dominic Cooper, who ended up in a relationship with Seyfried IRL). The wedding is being held at her mother Donna’s (Meryl Streep) run-down hotel, where Sophie finds an old diary that reveals her father could be one of three men: adventurer Bill (Stellan Skarsgård), dapper Sam (Pierce Brosnan), and slightly stiff ex-rocker Harry (Colin Firth). So, she does what any reasonable person would do and sends all three men she’s never met an invite to the wedding.

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Because this is something you would also do, Sophie doesn’t tell her mom. Donna—who was already not psyched about the wedding, by the way—is obviously overwhelmed when she finds three of her former lovers in her own attic. Luckily she has her former band members (played by the perfect Julie Walters and Christine Baranski) to help her sing her emotions away and reminisce about their glory days.


Sophie is torn between her mother’s discomfort, her fiancé’s skepticism, and getting to know her possible dads: all three of whom she asks to walk her down the aisle. After learning Donna’s mother disowned her for becoming pregnant out of wedlock (and a lot of ABBA interludes), Sophie makes the final call to have her mother walk her down the aisle. But, ultimately, at the altar she asks her fiancé if they can postpone the wedding and travel the world.

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But don’t worry, all of Donna’s hard work planning a wedding at the already financially strapped estate did not go to waste. Donna’s first love, Sam, reveals that after leaving to marry his fiancé back home, he had a change of heart and returned, only to find her with another man. That’s right—he’s been in love with her for all these years. The only reasonable next step is for the two of them to get married (and now we know why Sophie lacks basic impulse control).

All of this happens against the pure pop backdrop of “Super Trooper,” “Lay All Your Love on Me,” and “Honey, Honey.” And let’s not forget Streep, Walters, and Baranski’s tutu-core rendition of “Dancing Queen.” Just rewatch it already! Then you’ll truly be ready to go again.


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