“Mama Mia!: Here We Go Again” and Happily Again and Again and Again

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again! amps up what worked in the original. It’s twice as infectious, has more ABBA, more dance sequences and more Meryl Streep imitations and echoes than the first.

The rumors of Meryl total absence were greatly exaggerated. After spending most of the movie as a photographic presence, and a spectral memory, director Ol Park has the amazing Meryl haunt the end for a two song encore. It’s the most appropriately timed plot and themed appearance in Here We Go Again.

The other Meryl echoes are provided by Lily James as young Donna and Amanda Seyfried as young daughter Donna making an easy Sophie’s choice. That is tres Bella Donnas for the price of one.

As in any true comedies there is lot of doubling and echoing, fast forwarding and rewinding, as well as painfully obvious mugging. In addition to the Donnas, there are two pregnancies, two Skies, Harry’s, Bills, Sams, Rosies and Tanya’s. Only Jessica Keenan Wynn and Alexa Davies as the young Rosie and Tanya manage to generate the same effervescence that Christine Baranksi and Julie Walters have with each other.

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