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    10 Reasons Why "Mamma Mia!" Is The Movie Of The Vaccinated Summer

    After over a year of quarantine, no movie captures the spirit of this summer quite like this 2008 ABBA jukebox musical.

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    It's officially the summer of vaccination, as we leave our 15-month quarantine behind and perhaps travel somewhere where travel restrictions have been lifted. It's an exciting time but also a bit confusing, as the idea of going out into the world again after so long can feel a bit intimidating. Luckily, if you are in need of some motivation to fully live your best life in the post-pandemic summer, there's no better option than Mamma Mia!, which is exclusively streaming on Peacock. 

    Amanda Seyfried sitting on Meryl Streep's lap
    Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

    First, a brief refresher on the plot of Mamma Mia!

    Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is set to marry her boyfriend, Sky (Dominic Cooper), when she discovers the diary of her mom, Donna (Meryl Streep). Sophie learns that the summer before she was born, her mom slept ("dot dot dot-ed") with three men. And so she decides to secretly invite all three of them to the wedding in the hopes of discovering who her dad is so that he can walk her down the aisle. Naturally, shenanigans ensue.

    Now that we got that out of the way, here are 10 reasons why the 2008 ABBA jukebox musical perfectly captures the spirit of vaccinated summer.

    1. It's got great music (obviously).

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    I did not develop any new skills or talents over the course of the pandemic, but I did learn one very valuable lesson: ABBA is the greatest band of all time and the '70s Swedish pop band deserves a healthy amount of credit for this movie's staying power. Their songs provide the perfect tone for the entire movie. From getting to watch Meryl Streep gather all of the women in the town for "Dancing Queen" to a fleet of jacked dudes dancing around in scuba gear during "Lay All Your Love On Me," every single song is a showstopper. And even though Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth singing about "Our Last Summer" may now come with some unexpected baggage, the song still ultimately serves as a tribute to living life to the fullest while you can.

    2. It will inspire you to log off.

    Other than one passing mention, the internet may as well not exist in the Mamma Mia! universe. And the same goes for most technology in general, as you don't see Donna texting her BFFs to figure out why the hell her three old flings have suddenly shown up at her door the week of her daughter's wedding. This makes sense, as the original stage musical is over two decades old, and even in 2008, our relationship with technology was much healthier. After spending the last 15 months spending way too much time staring at our different screens in order to kill time, it's a delight to see everyone too busy singing their feelings to waste eight hours a day doomscrolling. (Granted, watching Mamma Mia! on Peacock will unfortunately require you to log on.)  

    3. The cast is stacked (and more relevant than ever).

    Christine Baranski, Meryl Streep, and Julie Walters walking.
    Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Seriously, Amanda Seyfried, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Christine Baranski, and Meryl Streep all in the same move? What did we do to deserve this? Of course, having an impressive ensemble doesn't always translate to success on screen, but in this case, everyone is at the top of their game. Mamma Mia! is a ridiculously entertaining movie, and you can see that it is just as fun for the cast as it is for the audience. I defy you to find a single performance in Meryl Streep's career where she is enjoying herself as much as she is here. The four-time Oscar-winning actor is giggling and making silly faces, and it is a fantastic look on her. The film's infectiously joyous energy lasts the entire movie without missing a beat, and it's impossible to not be filled with that joy as you watch.

    4. It's a great reminder to enjoy your life.

    Dominic Cooper riding a jetski.
    Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

    More than anything, what makes Mamma Mia! the perfect vaccination summer movie is that whether it is being earnestly romantic or delightfully silly, Mamma Mia! is never afraid to wear its heart on its sleeve and invite you to do the same. The movie is packed with sentimentality and makes no attempt to hide it or apologize for it. There are so many tiny moments of fun throughout this movie that just make you smile from ear to ear, like Sophie and her friend's excitement as they read about Donna's summer of love, or Donna's emotional response to Sam (Pierce Brosnan) proposing.

    5. It'll help you plan your next vacation.

    After summer vacations were canceled last summer, we could all use some help planning our first proper post-vax vacation. And Mamma Mia! can help lend some inspiration. Because have you seen this movie? It's gorgeous! Since its release back in 2008, the movie has inspired people to head to Greece to enjoy the gorgeous scenery shown throughout the fictional Greek island of Kalokairi (it was actually filmed on location at the small island of Skopelo). Earlier this month, Goldie Hawn even lived out her Mamma Mia! fantasy, posting a video of her dancing to "Dancing Queen" on a beach in Skiathos. Even if a trip to Greece is outside your budget (or restricted due to COVID), you can still use the movie as a source of inspiration for whatever trip you do end up booking.

    6. It teaches us that everyone deserves a Hot Girl Summer.

    Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Back in 2019, Megan Thee Stallion explained that Hot Girl Summer was "basically about women (and men) being unapologetically them, just having a good-ass time, hyping up your friends, doing you, not giving a damn about what nobody gotta say about it." In that vein, if you find yourself filled with self-doubt as you re-enter society, Mamma Mia! can inspire you to fully embrace your Hot Girl Summer. Just look at Donna and the Dynamos. Are these three worried about getting back on stage to perform? Hell no ‚ÄĒ because they are too busy having a good-ass time, hyping each other up, and not giving a damn about what anyone has to say about it. It's the energy we all need right now.

    7. It's the perfect form of escapism.

    Mamma Mia! is not trying to tell a realistic story that feels grounded in reality. It's offering a fun escape into a world where everyone sings ABBA and everyone's "problems" are pretty inconsequential. Sure, there are hints of class politics examined through Donna's lack of money, but that's mostly used as justification to let her sing "Money, Money, Money." Like most musicals, Mamma Mia! is mostly interested in leaving you entertained, and after the year we've all had, this light and breezy tone is more than welcome. So leave your worries behind for a couple of hours and enjoy the show.

    8. It will prepare you for summer loving.

    Amanda Seyfried holding a diary.
    Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

    What I really like about Mamma Mia! is that it shows different kinds of romantic interest and validates all of them. At its core, you have Donna and Sam reconnecting decades later to get married. You have Sophie calling off her wedding with Sky to travel the world instead. And, of course, you have Tanya (Baranski) confidently turning down the advances of an extremely eager young man. Even Donna's summer of love isn't seen as shameful; Sophie thinks it's totally rad that her mom lived it up! So whatever you are looking for in the love department, Mamma Mia! can help.

    9. It's a great lesson in starting over.

    A lot of us were full of enthusiasm when the summer began, but instead of living it up, we find ourselves staying in our rooms and thinking about how awful the pandemic was. At the start of Mamma Mia!, Donna is in a similar (though slightly less traumatic) boat, as her previous heartbreak has caused her to close herself off to romance. But by the end credits, she has learned to open up her heart to true love again, and that's what all of us need to do as we leave the pandemic in the rearview mirror. It's okay if you did absolutely nothing but eat Pop Tarts in bed and cry during the pandemic. That's in the past, and it's not too late to dance, jive, and have the time of your life.

    10. You can dive into the ever-expanding Mamma Mia! cinematic universe.

    Lily James looking pleased.
    Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Mamma Mia! became a surprise hit, earning $144.1 million domestically and $615.7 million at the global box office while costing only $52 million. A lot has happened since 2008. Seyfried received an Oscar nomination as the only good part of Mank, Firth won an Oscar for The King's Speech, and Meryl was nominated for six Oscars, winning one for The Iron Lady. Through it all, the love for Mamma Mia! only grew, so much so that the sequel/sort of prequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, was released in 2018, with most of the original cast returning. There has even been talk of a third entry into the Mamma Mia! franchise, as producer Judy Craymer said that it was "meant to be a trilogy."

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