Dan Glaser's Movie Podcast: Episode 17 - Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again with Aaron Jackson

Published on 2018-08-07

Welcome to Dan Glaser’s Movie Podcast: The ONLY Podcast You Have To Read. In each episode I go with a different comedian to see a movie and then we head to the closest coffee shop to chat about it over the internet. Yes it is a podcast, you just have to read it instead of listen to it. As always, you can catch up on all the other episodes here. Even better, consider supporting the podcast by subscribing

Aaron and I decided to do what real only New Yorkers do...wake up early and go to a matinee screening of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again at the AMC Village 7 Theatre in the historic East Village district of Manhattan. After a whirlwind tour of Europe, we skipped over to The Bean on 3rd Ave and 9th St and sat down to explore our feelings. I ordered a large iced green tea and Aaron ordered a MOCHA, which is insane.

(Here is Aaron hanging out with the cast of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again)
(Here is Aaron hanging out with the cast of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again)

Dan: Hi Aaron! Thank you so much for joining me today on Dan Glaser’s Movie Podcast: The ONLY Podcast You Have To Read. I know we have a boat to catch but before we depart I have just one question: Do you feel that storm coming?

Aaron: It’s a perfectly clear day but I do feel a storm in my BONES if that makes sense. It’s a power that every man with a light accent seems to be born with. Also, before we go any further, I just want to set the scene for the listeners / readers at home: there is a man next to us in this coffee shop absently strumming a ukulele which is honestly very Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again.

Dan: To further set the scene, Aaron and I are sitting on a couch passing a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Laptop back and forth between us, which is honestly also very Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again. (The Japanese Businessmen that Colin Firth is flippantly negotiating with in Tokyo all have Surface Pro 4 Laptops in Mamma Mia 2: Here We Pokemon Go To The Polls Again)

I should start things off by saying, to our readers / listeners, welcome to Sequel Week here on the podcast! All this week I will be seeing sequels to movies that I never saw the first one of. As you can now understand, I have a lot of questions about what transpired in this movie.

Aaron: As a card carrying member of the gay community, I DID see the first movie and I ALSO saw the musical on Broadway AND the national tour. But the plot of the first movie is that Amanda Seyfried is getting married to a person named Sky and she wants her dad to come to the wedding. So she secretly steals Meryl Streep’s diary and learns that in her youth, Meryl was a slut and she might have, count them, THREE dads. So she invites them ALL to the wedding and Meryl freaks but then they all learn that they love each other and they don’t care who the real father is and Amanda decides not to even get married because marriage is a fucked up institution and she’s an island girl at heart. Any more questions about Mamma Mia One: Here We Go Just Once?

Dan: Wow. Yes I actually do have a few questions that came to mind while watching this squeakquel. Question 1) Isn’t Amanda obviously the blonde guy’s daughter? She is very blonde, like the blonde guy. Question 2) Is Kalokairi, the secret island paradise for white people, actually purgatory? Calling sailors and travellers alike with its siren song of ALL YOU CAN EAT MOUSSAKA only to batter them to death against its rocky shores, where they roam forever more never to pass on to heaven or hell? Question 3) What is the deal with Sky?

Aaron: Okay A) Meryl is blonde and a STRONG woman, so Amanda could be genetically related to anyone. B) There is probably a Greek myth tied up in this somewhere, but I think the island is enchanted by ABBA and is therefore the only place that truly belongs solely to the caucasian people. And C) He really is just a body for the women to sing songs at. He has a bigger part in Mamma Mia One: This Doesn’t Have Legs For A Sequel. He was like a hot surfer fun island boy. Somewhere between the two movies he became a Business-New-York-City-Man, and Meryl Streep died which threw me for a fucking loop-de-loop if I’m being honest. 

Dan: Aaron it is literally insane to me that Sky was a hot surfer fun island boy at any point in his life. In this movie he is a skinny rich dork (just my type). I really think that everyone on this resort island is already dead and it makes a lot of things that happen make more sense, but we can get to that in a bit.

One more question before we get into the MEAT of the GYRO, as they say. I don’t see a ton of musicals, but my understanding is that this is a sub-genre even within that world, something known as a ‘Jukebox’ Musical? This is where we take an existing band’s ouvre and adapt a movie around the songs that already exist, is that correct? Am I using that term correctly?

Aaron: One hundred percent yes. A genre that became very popular due to the financial success of Mamma Mia, actually. What I love about the genre is that pop songs are inherently light and without subtext, so when they make a movie of it, a lyric will be like: I miss you I want to call you on the phone. And then the actor will look sad and then pick up an actual phone to illustrate to the audience what they’re saying. So there’s even LESS subtext. Like in this movie, every time Christine Baranski said the word ‘eyes’ in a song, she pointed at her own eyes or another actor’s eyes. And one of her songs was “Angel Eyes” so she said (and pointed at) ‘eyes’ a lot.

Dan: Honestly most of the numbers and the way they were choreographed reminded me of the interpretive “routines” my sister and I would do to Beach Boys songs in the living room as literal children. You just mime the words the lyrics say and then mom and dad applaud. They say surf? You do a surf pose. They say Angel Eyes? You do an angel flapping its wings pose (real thing from the movie).

Also, because these characters sing these songs in the context of regular scenes, it implies that the lyrics are like, their actual thoughts? Does that mean Andy Garcia, who plays the titular Fernando as sung by Cher at him, fought in the actual Mexican Revolution? Like, the one in 1910 or whenever? Seems like that would only make sense if...he died some time ago and was trapped in purgatory on Kalokairi...

Aaron: You honestly solved the riddle of the movie. Why does it exist? It’s an allegory!!! Okay should we just dive in? The way a fisherman (who couldn’t swim) and his lover, a bride getting married to a man she didn’t love on a dock (also couldn’t swim) dove into the ocean to declare their love to each other?

I just want to say to start that every single line of this movie was a laugh line. There were lines I didn’t laugh at only because I was tired of laughing at other lines. This movie starts at a graduation ceremony??? (I missed the beginning due to NYC’s award winning public transit system) But it’s a flashback starring young Meryl Streep (Lily James). Lily James is English in real life but I thought she did a great American accent. Also her hair is...insanely beautiful. Dan, did you think that her hair was beautiful? There were times in the movie where all I was thinking about was her hair.

Dan: As discussed, yes, I did spend a lot of time looking at every character’s hair in this movie. My goal was to solve the mystery of who the dad was (obviously, the blonde guy), so it was less of an aesthetic evaluation and more focused on sleuthing. That said, sure I guess she had good hair. By the way I will refer to Young Meryl as Mamma Mia to make it easier for people to follow along.

This is as good a time as any to dive right in (like they do into the water). The movie actually opens with Amanda Seyfried looking at a postcard of the island she is currently sitting on. This movie LOVES transition shots. Every possible version you can imagine is deployed with reckless abandon throughout. She is planning a big party on this island; specifically a party for the grand opening of this cute little hotel / resort that will be managed by Andy Garcia who is given permission to turn up his accent to a 7. For context, in Book Club he is asked to dial it back to a 4 or 5.

Amanda says something about how she wishes her mom could be here, and that she was always late anyway. Cross dissolve to…

...Mamma Mia’s Graduation! This is about when you showed up, which I couldn’t have planned any better because it was an insane musical number that was way more fun than most of the musical numbers in this movie.

Aaron: When I entered the theater in a stressed huff, I was instantly transported. The three flashback leads, Mamma Mia, Young Christine Baranski (who was incredibly cast. Like she was exactly like Christine Baranski in every single way. It was bizarre), and British Lena Dunham were all on bicycles peddling to the stage of their graduation where they then danced for all the graduates. At the end, the graduates throw their caps in the air, and Mamma Mia, Young Christine Baranski and British Lena Dunham all jumped off the stage, presumably to their deaths? Thank God that freeze frame saved their lives.    

A thing I also love about flashback movies in general is that the flashback actor and the present day actor have to have the exact same haircut. Decades pass, empires fall, but hairstyles remain ever-constant. A stalwart bastion in a constantly changing world. Wow I guess the main theme of this move was hair? And we haven’t even gotten to Cher yet.  

Dan: More like Chair.

For those who haven’t seen it, this movie follows two threads:

1) Poor Amanda Seyfried has to throw a big dumb party for literal millionaires because it’s what Mamma Mia (who has died off-screen between movies) would have wanted. It’s the usual “I need to throw a big dumb party” plot. 

2) Mamma Mia is young, dumb, and full of sun as she galivants around Europe bouncing between 3 men and a few farm animals. We cut back and forth between these two plots every 5 minutes or so, usually with an ARTFUL transition shot, and usually a matching shot of the same location or character at different points in time.

My point is, Mamma Mia’s two friends were the STARS of this movie, young version and old version, and they should have been in every scene.

Aaron: I also felt bad for Amanda as plot #2 was full of young hot people, but her plot was a bunch of oldies who were forced to say ‘fuck I’m old’ nearly every line. I just wanted Amanda to have some FUN but she had to cry when a sudden storm blew away a couple of flags and apparently ruined her big dumb party? Like it rained pretty hard for a minute, blew away a flag, and her party was destroyed? I felt like she was overreacting too, but I guess I would cry if all the other hot young people were having fun in the past and I was stuck doing all my scenes with a bunch of personified Botox. All the Botox looked great, but still. 

Dan: I don’t know who I feel worse for, Amanda the actor who wasn’t allowed to have fun, or Amanda the character, who is literally and figuratively trapped on that island forever.

Okay, so after the Graduation Song (by Vitamin C), Mamma Mia tells her two friends that she is leaving to go...what? To just travel? It’s unclear but she decides to go to France. Now, as discussed, throughout her journey she will meet and love 3 Men of varying degrees of hotness and singing / dancing ability. The first guy she meets in in France. What did you think of Guy #1 who I believe is named Harry, and how would he rank in terms of hotness and singing / dancing ability?

Aaron: Okay. Harry to me is a clear second place to me in hotness. When he entered in the bathrobe, I was very like: hubba hubba Daddy like. He’s definitely a piece of white bread soaking in milk by which I mean a total loser nerd, but he’s also that kind of nerd who probably has just a big beautiful cock. You could sort of feel that in the air imo. However, when he put on his leather jacket and awful t-shirt, he became aggressively less hot to me. 

His dancing and singing was fine. It was embarrassing but to be fair, he had the most embarrassing song. He had to sing ‘Waterloo’ in a French restaurant. It is SO fucking funny to me that the only reason Mamma Mia went to Paris was so that they could shoehorn ‘Waterloo’ into the movie. I could not handle that in any way, so of course I loved it.

Also want to quickly add that British Lena Dunham’s accent seemed very very fake to me, but maybe she is British? Possibly hung Harry seemed actually British to me.

Dan: Regarding the Waterloo number: it was pretty bad until they had a wheelchair lady doing spins for no reason. Skinny Harry definitely read on screen as having a massive cock and I was actually surprised in general that there was no runner in this movie about dick size at all. Like literally none of the three dads is implied to have a huge dick. What is the point of the Horny Friend characters if they aren't going to joke about one of the dads having a huge penis? (It would be Colin Firth, obviously). You could even have a scenelet at the end when Amanda's baby is born and the dads look at the baby's dick and then at each other and say something like, "Good for him!"

British Lena Dunham definitely seemed Irish in old times and then British in current times. There was a lot of accent drag in this movie. Pierce Brosnan also seemed to be playing generic British instead of Irish. You told me that Mamma Mia is actually British,but forced to play American as well.

Aaron: It's amazing what they can do with accents now in movies. Like CGI in a way. Wheelchair Lady should win an oscar. She was truly incredible.

So after she has sex with Big Dick Harry, who was a virgin for no reason, she has to run to catch her ferry to secret Caucasian island, and we are introduced to one of the running gags of the movie, which is The Man That Runs The Ferry Who Hates Long Hair. This man definitely fits into your theory of purgatory, Dan. He watches over all who enter the island, and we will learn later, never ages.

Dan: I forgot about him! But yes, they give him one joke to do: say that people's hair look better short in their passport photo. He also gets to be Gay-ish for Laughs.

Aaron: And he makes people miss the ferry. Everyone always missed the ferry because of his hair comments: again this movie was about hair.

Dan: Mamma Mia: Hair We Grow Again!

Aaron: WOW. I'm stunned. That's perfect.

Dan: Thank you. Well Mamma Mia has a plan to go to this magic island but she is more of a doer than a planner and she misses her boat because of this passport man. Luckily, she encounters her next potential suitor while waiting on the dock!

As mentioned, we will be ranking all the men in this movie according to different categories. Right now we've only discussed Young Harry. We will go through all the young daddies first and then we can re-evaluate the old daddies.

Aaron: That's a smart plan. 

Dan: I say this because the guy she meets on this dock is CLEARLY number one in almost all categories besides maybe dick size.

Aaron: Yes I completely agree. Boat Boy is hot in appearance, had the best outfit, owned a fucking boat, was seducing her in a sexy, non-creepy way, owned a fucking boat, was the best singer/dancer, casually pulled off an earring, and owned a fucking boat. I do agree he probably had a nice average penis but knew how to use it well. 

Dan: When they started their duet on the boat I turned to you and said, "Oh cool at least they cast one guy who can sing." Also they were the only pairing to have any chemistry on screen, even if it was mostly because they were on a boat which is like cheating.

Aaron: Totally! They should date in real life unless Boat Boy is gay and then he should date ME. And yes, at that point it almost felt bold to have a person who could sing play one of the suitors. And he had a cool haircut too.

Dan: He seems like a musical theatre / stage actor that got cast for performing talent whereas the other young daddies seem like they were cast for their "acting" which is an odd choice. I think he is exactly as gay as we need him to be, which is the magic of cinema.

Aaron: So in a cruel twist of fate she does NOT fuck the Boat Boy and I'm truly furious. You are on a boat in the middle of the goddamn ocean with a hot slutty, respectful Boat Boy who is truly nailing casual weekend getaway attire and you are not going to fuck????? 

Dan: I was shocked by this turn.

Aaron: Mamma Mia: No No NO.

Dan: They literally do not hook until much later in the movie at which point, again, I turned to you and asked "Wait, have they not fucked yet?" There is a lot of, as you put it, ‘raw fucking’, in this movie.

Aaron: RIght.

Dan: In the opening scene when they cut to Mamma Mia's graduation, a subtitle came on that said "1979.”

It might as well have said "1979 - Pre AIDS."

Aaron: The conceit is that she gets pregnant with Amanda from one of these guys so we're also to infer that she fully fucks raw with a ton of guys and is like: I'm a free spirit and immune to gonorrhea.

Dan: Which we support. It's just that, as a character, she also gets mad sometimes at other people's relationship choices, which seems rude.

Aaron: we will get to that very soon, actually. We support her free spiritedness (slut-for-prezident) but I do NOT support her hypocrisy. 

Dan: Great! Okay before boat trip ends, and right before they should be fucking, they encounter a guy. A guy whom I will call Greek Popeye.

Aaron: Oh Hesus .

*Jesus.

Dan: Save me, Hesus. The Male Jesus.

Aaron: What the world has been waiting for. Greek Popeye was fishing in the sea with only a small net and his boat broke so he basically needed Boat Boy to pull out the jumper cables and jumpstart his boat for him.  This was a very unprepared fisherman in my opinion.

Dan: His boat was Snoopy's house turned upside down. It was the size of a Power Wheels.

But! His beautiful love, Apollonia (sp?) is marrying the wrong man and he needs a ride to the wedding. Of course, Young Bill (the blonde hot daddy) and Mamma Mia oblige. This is the part of the movie where they played THE MUSIC from Take a Chance On Me but no one actually sang the song. What???

Aaron: Okay so what is also very funny about Mamma Mia: Hair We Do Not Pass GO Collect 200 Dollars Again is that they use a lot of new ABBA songs, but they also recycle a TON of songs that were in Mamma Mia One: First Time's A Charm. So Take A Chance On Me is from the first movie. So at first I was like, oh that's cute, a nod to the original, but later they just fully re-sing 4 songs so this was a huge missed opportunity to sing that very fun ABBA song. Side note: Popeye's shorts fit his body really weird. I love short-shorts on men but his felt like a Lego-person pants.

Dan: The other thing about ABBA music in this movie is that since this is a musical, characters sing songs in their everyday lives, as ways of communicating what they are feeling. But also, in this movie, music as entertainment and a job also exists, where people also sing ABBA songs.

Is that a normal thing in jukebox musicals? Like, we already are buying into this idea that people will be singing and dancing. You don’t have to also put them on a stage some times.

Aaron: So sometimes it's in their job. For example the Carole King musical on Broadway, she will get an idea and record / write the song. But then she will also sing at her lover as a way of communicating. I think this is a common, confusing trope

Dan: Well either way, Bill has to do a big BOAT RACE so he has to leave for 3 WEEKS. He drops Mamma Mia off at this island and sails off into the sunset. Keep in mind, every other scene is back in current times with Amanda and her hotel, but it is dreadfully uninteresting there so we will get to that whenever.

Aaron: Yes at one point in the movie you turned to me and said: “Poor Amanda, they aren't going to give her anything to do.” Which is true. She simply...was there.

Dan: Every scene with her was her being sad that one person or another couldn't come to her party "for millionaires."

Sky

Daddy 2

Daddy 3

Mamma Mia

Grandma Mia

The Millionaires

Aaron: Insane that she kept saying: The Millionaires. Like they were an ancient race . Elves or Dwarves, long since deceased.

Dan: The Millionaires Will Rise From The Aegean Once a Millennium And Bestow Their Blessings Upon A Worthy BnB.

Aaron: But Mamma Mia finally gets to this island she's been dreaming of and if I understand it correctly, she had not a fucking clue what she was going to do when she got there. But luckily, she instantly finds a gorgeous abandoned farmhouse. 

Dan: Oh hell yeah. This dilapidated termite house. Very quickly, back in 2018, Andy Garcia says that "He feels a storm" coming or some bullshit.

Aaron: Yes yes yes. And so did Boat Boy in the pre-HIV era.

Dan: Yes, powerful connection.

Aaron: Spooky even.

Dan: Sometimes Men just Know.

Aaron: And the blonde women they love laugh it off.

Dan: The storm in 2018 was so over the top with lighting and noise I really thought that Ursula was going to show up and steal everyone's voice.

Aaron: And yet, all it did was knock over some flags! However, apparently no one in coastal Greece is prepared for any sort of weather, so all planes and ferries are cancelled (in this moment) and the Millionaires can't come to the Big Party and must return to the void from which they came.

Dan: Okay perfect! Meanwhile, back in the 70s...Another storm!

Aaron: In the farmhouse, if Mamma Mia sneezes the wrong way, she knocks down a weight-bearing beam so we're worried when this storm strikes 

Dan: This is how she meets her next potential suitor...A horse! This Poor horse who has been chained to a post in the barn for....centuries?

Aaron: Yes, this was also a Grecian myth.

Dan: Ya I think that was Poseidon. Wait. Theseus's father was Poseidon, who took the form of a horse to impregnate his mother…

Aaron: Is that true???

Dan: Not sure but maybe! [Poseidon is thought to be the father of Theseus, and often took the form of a horse. This is a creative interpretation of a few different myths...but I will allow it - ed.]

Aaron: Fuck I didn't even realize that all Grecian myths are about Gods fucking people too. Pregnancy is a big theme, this is huge for our term paper.

Dan: Ugh Can you finish it? My parents are in town and they are gonna take me to Cheesecake Factory tonight. Sorry, thanks!

Aaron: Mamma Mia: Hera Go Again. By Dan and Aaron.

Dan: WOW.

Aaron: *Bows*

But yeah, this stunning horse is in a basement and it is so good at standing on its hind legs and it almost kills Mamma Mia HARD.

Dan: So Mamma Mia sees this horse and then she...runs away? Goes to look for help?

Aaron: Yes in a tropical storm on an island she has been on for half an hour.

Dan: It is during this fight or flight moment that she meets Motorcycle Daddy.

Aaron: Our third suitor!!!

Dan: The worst young daddy? But also the one that she is implied to care about the most?

Aaron: Yeah and this is really a shame. Because you had the opportunity to heighten. Boat Boy was hot but not impossible to beat hot. This guy could've been so smoking hot that we all creamed our 70s jeans, but they guy they got was...cute? Sort of dopey actually. 

Dan: Not only is Motorcycle Daddy...fine looking. Not ugly. Probably best body, definition wise. But just like, attractive. But also he has nothing going for him. Personality wise, career wise, really anything beyond motorcycle.

Aaron: Yes. If he did not have a motorcycle, he would be chum in the water. Total snooze.

Dan: Mamma Mia 2: Young, Dumb and Full of Chum.

Aaron: And let him show off his body if that's what he's bringing to the table! This movie is for 50 year old women. Let us see his abs and pecs. Hell show us his ASS if you want to gain audience sympathy. Ass is PG-13 right? Give us ass.

Dan: Yes. Literally 0 ass shots. I guarantee the audition required all the young daddies to show ass.

Aaron: If they had shown us his ass, guarantee we'd be singing a different tune about this guy.

Dan: Wow back to back guarantees. Or should I say, ass to ass?

Aaron: Take it to the bank.

Dan: Great so they...fix the horse...and move in together!

Aaron: Right they have a whirlwind week that consists of Motorcycle third place young daddy sleeping while Mamma Mia does slow motion cartwheels while wearing a flowing skirt.

Oh!

They also go shopping and he's like: this would be a cute dress for you, and Mamma Mia enters wearing overalls and says: "You don't know me at all."

Dan: Hahaha.

Aaron: Which is true he doesn't know her. But also...get the dress too? You've worn dresses earlier in the movie.

Dan: Right? I remember her wearing dresses like for example when she is doing slow motion cartwheels in the meadow.

Aaron: Yes moments after she says: ‘I like overalls.’

Dan: I think this is around when we meet the Greek Locals?

Aaron: Yes. they are very important.

Dan: I just. They are so GREEK. I wish I were more offended, by the Old Woman and her Hairy Son.

Aaron: And she hated her son. With a European fire she hated her son. 

Dan: That no good malaka…

Aaron: But she LOVED Mamma Mia, and so did Hairy Son after she sang.

Dan: Ya that was an easy win.

I think this is about the time in the movie when stuff at Hotel Sarong Singles starts to pick up Because Mamma Mia's fun horny friends show up! Or maybe they have already, but now we will talk about them.

Aaron: Yes.

Dan: Back in 2018, Amanda is greeted at the docks by Christine BAranski (the real one, accept no substitutes) and Older British Lena Dunham.

Aaron: The hotel storyline finally gets a shot of juice because these ladies are great and have a point of view which poor Amanda does not. Reminder: Meryl Streep is still fucking dead. She was on the poster, but she is dead.

Dan: Yes, early on, Pierce Brosnan says to Amanda something to the effect of "It's too bad she's DEAD." and that is how we learn.

Aaron: The more I sit with it, the more I can't believe it. Meryl is arguably the biggest star in the movie. She was the lead of the first one, and then we see her on the poster and then we are told: actually she is not in this movie but her pictures are. Truly wild.

Dan: She was busy get over it.

Aaron: I bet they came to her and she told them, “Write me out, give me ten mill and then sure, I'll make a cameo.“

Dan: That's how you do BUSINESS. “I'm in if Cher plays my mom.”

Aaron: “Fuck fuck fuck we have to call CHER now!!!!! Write in a pointless role, quick!”

Dan: It does give us a great laugh line: "my grandmother hasn't been seen outside of Las Vegas in decades."

Aaron: What a way to phrase that. Like she's trapped within the confines of the city due to parole or a witch's curse.

Dan:Hahaha. Only Magic Mike can set her free.

Aaron: Baranski OG and Older Lena Dunham are fun though.

Dan: Well Christine Baranski and...Dobby? What is the other friend's name? I'll call her Dobby, show up on the island and go BUCK WILD for Andy Garcia.

Aaron: Dobby yes. They want to fuck him BAD and they let him say charming ESL nonsense and their pussies FLOOD.

Dan: "Be still my beating vagina," I believe is how they put it.

Aaron: Oh right. That's a line of dialogue.

Dan: Again, no dick jokes in this movie.

Aaron: Such low hanging fruit.

Dan: Neither Baranski or Dobby ever mention huge cock.

Aaron: Which is a mistake in the writing. 3 hot dads, each of them with a cock.

Dan: By definition, one has to have the biggest.

Aaron: Mamma Mia has fucked all 3.

Dan: It's simple math.

Aaron: And we as an audience deserve to know. (it's Harry)

Dan: (correct)

Okay back in the past, um, what? Young Baranski and Young Dobby show up?

Aaron: Not yet.

Dan: But first Mamma Mia gets mad at MotoDaddy because he has a picture in his diary!

Aaron: Exactly. Of: A WOMAN!

Dan: A BEAUTIFUL Woman, in her words.

Aaron: His fiancee!!!!!!!!!! He lied to her! He had an affair with her on an island!

Dan: Sacrifice him on an altar to Aphrodite.

Aaron: In the middle of nowhere, a 22 year old man slept with a 22 year old woman, but it was not a summer fling to her.

Dan: She fell HARD for this guy, btw. She told him to live on this island with her basically forever.

Aaron: She herself who has lived there for 3 days.

Dan: Which was a weird turn! She is / was very much a travelling free spirit, self proclaimed, and decided to set up shop forever in the horse hut.

Aaron: And the island is gorgeous but must be full of small town politics? A ferry comes over once a day.

Dan: Yes once per day you, the damned, can pay a metal obolus to charon who will ferry you across the river Styx to the island of Kalokairi.

Aaron: Where white women rule.

Dan: It’s an albinomatriarchy, yes.

Aaron: But then yes her friends come to visit with suitcases that match their outfits.

Dan: The 3 Friends (their band is called the Dynamos or something) do a...show at the bar?

Aaron: Yes they have booked an afternoon gig at a local bar.

Dan: And then when they are right about to have a fun girls week together...after flying halfway around the world, mind you (or at least across europe)...Bill the Sailor Boy shows up and Mamma Mia literally ditches her friends on this dumb island to go sailing.

Aaron: Which is terrible of her. Truly rude. But she should've fucked him earlier so there is some unfinished business here. And we're supposed to feel bad about motorcycle guy but you could FEEL the audience being like: who cares fuck Boat Boy ya dummy.

Dan: Yeah who knows why anything happens in this movie, truly. Also, since I didn't see the first one, I have to assume that there is....more that connects these people over the years?

Aaron: Nope.

Dan: Like is this all they have in common? These 2 weeks in the late 70s?

Aaron: Amanda secretly invited the Dads to the island.

Dan: Did they do nothing else meaningful with their lives? Meet no other interesting people?

Aaron: Mamma Mia stayed on the island. Her friends would come and visit. I think she is supposed to have maybe had a relationship with Motorcycle guy, but I am thinking we are supposed to believe that this one week of romance was all they had together, and 20 years later she's still emotional about it.

Dan: Wait like, in the previous movie we learn that Mamma Mia LIVED ON THAT ISLAND FOREVER?

Aaron: Oh yes, stayed trying to open the hotel.

Dan: And people still don’t believe it's purgatory???

Aaron: Amanda grew up on the island. Is a true local.

Okay WAIT. In modern day Amanda time, there's a song (the aforementioned Angel Eyes) that the two slutty friends sing. 

Dan: Oh yes! This song is about Bill (blonde hottie) who Dobby I guess had a relationship with also at some point.

Aaron: And as like a cute bit of business, while the two slutty friends are singing, Amanda goes down a line of servants and spruces them up in what is meant to be a charming way, but is actually deeply disturbing.

Dan: Oh ya that was weird! It reminded me of prepping the wares before a slave auction.

Aaron: It reminded me of the scene in 12 Years a Slave where Paul Giamatti slaps the ass of a naked slave in the slave market. Like, truly! That reads as a joke but that was the vibe.

Dan: Wow, twins.

Aaron: OH MY GOD DAN. That is so funny, and disturbing.

Dan: Note for the fans, we are no longer side by side on a couch at The Bean, but sitting across the world from each other on separate laptops, in our own homes.

Aaron: There's construction going on outside my apartment too which is cool.

Dan: I'm sitting on my couch eating cashews.

Aaron: But if two people were reminded of a slave auction...you gotta do a reshoot.

Dan: Ya gotta.

Aaron: You don't EVER want the audience thinking about slave auctions but certainly not during this movie.

Dan: I mean. Amanda is definitely the savior of this island. And she happens to be white. Does that make her a white savior? Read our term paper to find out!

Aaron: So back in the past, Mamma Mia finally fucks Boat Boy but only after they were going to have a platonic sleepover on his boat. He pulled a pearl out of the fucking ocean for her. This guy is a LOCK for a rebound fuck.

Dan: Ya, I don’t understand the delayed gratification here, from a character POV or from a storytelling perspective. Like, I had just assumed they already fucked off screen. Why make a big deal about it? Especially if we know she is not going to "end up" with one of these randos anyway.

Aaron: Awful. Awful to make us stand up in the theatre and beg.

Dan: “Beg for this fuck you sloppy little shit pigs.”

Aaron: This also was a perfect moment for an ass shot.

Dan: At least have a shot where he has to hide is crotch behind a...mizzen mast or a...jigger...or some other boat thing. Like maybe Dobby shows up on the dock and he is naked and has to cover up.

Aaron: Right. A fun 'his dick is big' behind a phallic boat object, a la Austin Powers. Wouldn't have been remiss.

Dan: You get it. Mamma Mia 3: Boatmember.

Aaron: The crossover we need. Move over Marvel, Mamma's home!

Dan: The Mamma Miaverse is here!

Oh shit. I forgot. It's about this time that she decides that she is pregnant, right? Or do we have to catch up with Manders first? And her old daddies?

Aaron: Oh right Amanda is in this movie. So two of her three dads couldn't come to the millionaire party because they are actually millionaires. Busy millionaires.

Dan: More like Millionaire Dadmaker?

Aaron: Bravo...need a new show?

Dan: Here's a hint: yes you do.

Aaron: But then both of her rich dads have a come to Jesus [Hesus - ed.] moment and decide to go to White Woman island. And for some reason, the planes and the ferry work for them.

Dan: I feel like I was probably missing a lot here, not having seen the first movie. These character appearances are clearly a BIG DEAL. 

They are spoken about as not coming to the party, then shown at the start of the third act for one scene each, then they show up. That's their entire arc in this movie, other than seeing Young Them throughout.

Aaron: Yes the 3 dads are the main point of the first movie so it's sad that they can't come to the island. This was a young person's movie if we're being honest. The kids walk away with this thing.

Dan: Finally! A Mamma Mia for MY Generation.

Aaron: *Sips iced coffee / does an olly(sp?)*

Dan: *Eats ass*

Aaron: NOW we're cooking!

Dan: Now THIS is podracing!

Aaron: So the dads show up and we sing Dancing Queen for not one fucking reason.

Dan: Oh wait, yes! So, I have to say this. I went to the bathroom during a boring Amanda scene and when I walked back in...the whole fucking island was dancing and singing Dancing Queen.

Aaron: And the locals of the island SPRINT to the ferry people (almost as if they need help escaping the island???)

Dan: I was so confused. It was similar to when I saw Ocean's 13 a million years ago and I ran to the bathroom real quick and when I came back they had already finished the entire heist. Like, i missed the part where they stole all the casino money. This felt similar.

Aaron: Wow does the heist go that quickly? Or were you at the ol gloryhole??

Dan: Both! it all happens very fast and then the rest of the movie is like, retroactively explaining the second heist that they didn’t show that was happening in the background.

Aaron: Okay this is a different movie but I HATE that about those movies. Show don't tell!!! I think it's very weird for the climax of your movie to happen just through George Clooney being a storyteller. They do it in Ocean's 8, too. Here's what happened. There was this really dramatic scene where the characters were put under a lot of stress and it was dynamic and interesting. But It's actually over now. 

Mamma Mia 2 gives you EVERYTHING on screen. Take note Oceans!

Dan: The only heist in Mamma Mia is of the heart. And that all happens IN BROAD DAYLIGHT, no tricks. An honorable movie.

Aaron: I like a movie reviewer who only cares about honor. SNL are you there? 

Dan: Yes which is why I LOOOOOOOOOOOVED The Last Samurai but hated Matchstick Men.

Aaron: Hadn't thought about Matchstick Men in years.

Dan: Same, we block it from our memory because of all the chicanery and tricks. My main point is, I came back into the theatre and everyone is singing and dancing. I think we should add that two of the millionaire daddies reconnected with Greek Popeye from long ago who brought a fleet full of local fishermen to the party.

Aaron: Yes. Since the planes and ferries don't work for the other mystical millionaires, the Daddy millionaires were able to bring locals to Amanda's hotel. So the daddies meet everyone and also who is secretly there but SKY!!!!!

Dan: That was weird I think! Why was he there? Again, both from a character point of view, but also from the movie's point of view. Why was he in this movie?

Aaron: Yeah this is where we fully wrap up Amanda's character because the only thing she had going for her narratively was that she was sad Sky wanted to be Big Billy Business. But instead, he chose a life of purgatory on Caucasian Island so that he could be with his Siren bride.

Dan: That's right. He exists so Amanda can have a character want.

Aaron: So now Amanda's main line of dialogue is ‘I don't care,’ Which she says blissfully for the rest of the movie.

Dan: Sky is from the 70s but she's a 90s bitch.

Aaron: You know you're in good shape when your protagonist enters Act 3 not caring about shit.

Dan: This is also about when Manders figures out she is pregnant, correct?

Aaron: Right so the party gets into full swing and Manders pukes and goes: you know what that means. So THIS is when her character is done, because now she is fully becoming her mother in a very creepy Single White Female kind of way. The moral of this movie is: if your mother dies, you must completely take over her life and become her in every way.

Dan: Mamma Mia Becomes Her. There is a definite haunting of this family, here on this island. In every generation, a hotel manager is borne…

Aaron: From daughter to daughter we carry on the line. The island is our cross to bear. We must protect it. Oooo Mamma Mia 2 is actually the ending of LOST.

Dan: Actually wow. Jack or Locke? Who is the daddy???

Aaron: Smoke Monster.

Dan: "Not Greek Popeye's Boat.”

Aaron: Hahaha. Wait does the 70s arc just sort of wrap up once the party gets underway?

Dan: Almost!

Aaron: Oh, Mamma Mia gets pregnant.

Dan: We find out that the Old GREEK Woman owns the horse hut and wants Mamma Mia to live there...FOREVER <spooky lightning and witch cackle>

Aaron: Riiiiiight.

Dan: All because she was "nice to my horse".

Aaron: Yes. The Greek woman can read the soul of a person by how they treat animals which is why she locks horses up in basements and just leaves them there. As a test of character.

Oh quick question: we never find out how Meryl died, right?

Dan: No but it's fun to play pretend! I think Meryl died sliding down the banister in an ancient temple of Artemis. The stairs collapsed on her head.

Aaron: I think she died in something horse related. Untying a horse from a rotting building. Saving a horse from quicksand.

Dan: Trading her magic beans for a horse at the market.

Aaron: Teaching a horse to run her hotel but then it became jealous of her and murdered her. Yes. It has to be one of these things. 

Dan: Problem solved. So yeah I think Old GREEK Woman is also a doula and together they give birth to young Amanda.

And that's the end of the of the 70s. Here comes Reagan. The Cold War. Smart Phones. Eating ass. Etc.

Aaron: it's a shame we don't see ANY of the hot young boys again. They are over and we feel the lack.

Dan: We kind of do! In the credits bonanza! Which is canon, IMO. All the characters past and present live on this island now, forever singing, forever dancing, until the world ends.

Aaron: Very true. that's the real ending. And they're all in lavish ABBA outfits which feels very godlike. Their true form.

Dan: Before we get to the credits though, we have one more Very Special party guest yet to arrive...Grandma Mia!

Aaron: Ladies, Gentleman, and Non-Binaries, please welcome to the movie.....CHER. It almost felt like we should stand up or give her entrance applause. They pushed Cher SO hard. It would've been an amazing reveal had they kept it secret. Like I would've truly freaked the fuck out if we didn't know.

Dan: Right? Like, obviously, anyone seeing this movie already knows what's coming. Both that Cher is the last big cameo and that Andy Garcia is her long lost lover. But that doesn't mean that their insane duet isn’t still insane!

Aaron: Oh my god Fernando was actually cinematic genius.

Dan: So. At this point in the movie, Cher reveals that Andy Garcia's first name (he is only referred to as Señor Cien Fuegos) is...FERNANDO! So we get to hear her sing Fernando to him, which is fun!

Aaron: Yes. Cher's voice is obviously insane. However, it was cool to hear an actual singer sing songs instead of just a bunch of big-eyed movie stars TRY to sing songs.

Dan: But also like, that song is literally about a guy at war? Specifically the Mexican Revolution in like...1910? And since as we established, in this world, ABBA songs are real. That means that Andy Garcia fought in the Mexican Revolution?

Aaron: Yes. Garcia was in the Mexican Revolution. Ran away and became a hotel manager over 100 years later.

Dan: Not only fought, but DIED, IMO, and now spends his time managing this Hotel California: Greece Edition.

Aaron: There's a line about the cannons and guns being scary and Andy just shrugged like: sorry.

Dan: Yes Cher has a very good voice and Andy Garcia...has a mystery voice...because during their duet (which is unfair and mean to have in this movie) his mic is at like a 3 and hers is a 10. We never hear him sing but that's probably for the best.

Aaron: Can you imagine getting cast in a musical and they tell you, 'great your duet is with Cher?' I would also ask them to turn off my mic. No one is here for you. Every time they cut to him I felt like if I craned my neck or something I could maybe see Cher again. 

Dan: I mean, that's like getting cast in a movie and they tell you, “Great your scene will be opposite Christine Baranski.” Good luck pal!

Aaron: "She's going to point to her eyes a lot. Go with it!"

Dan: The Cher / Andy / Fernando number (ChernAndo) was the climax of this movie. Which is so funny because it has nothing to do with anything. But it's the biggest grandest number BY FAR.

Aaron: Yes neither character matters at all. Cher doesn't even seem to give a shit that her daughter is dead. She is embarrassed by Manders And she denies the existence of the future grandchild who will run the island.

Dan: I think, if I'm being generous, that learning that Cher is Grandma Mia gives some context to Mamma Mia's erratic behavior throughout this movie. And also explains how she can afford to "love to travel."

Aaron: That's true. I just want to see the world and not have a job and sing ABBA covers with my friends in small remote bars during the afternoon.

Dan: Let's do it. Tonight. We book a flight. One way. Except Linkin Park covers!

Aaron: Ugh the ferry man (Charon?) is going to make fun of my hair for SURE

Dan: He is the queen of mean. So wait, the party goes off without a hitch, and then we cut to...9 months later? Is that how this movie ends?

Aaron: YES.

Dan: That crazy scene in a church on the hill where Meryl's ghost shows up to finish her earthly business (read: do one contractually obligated song).

Also, I know I said they gave Amanda nothing to do in this movie. But in this church scene they gave her insane cleavage. The rest of the movie she is covered in linen and turquoise rayon and then...BOOM.

Church time!

Aaron: Oh I HATED her fucking poncho at the party. The costumes in this movie are very fun and then they cover Amanda in a fucking PONCHO.

Dan: She dressed like if you somehow combined my mom and my aunt.

Aaron: Yes! It was like a very cute beach towel and she wore it for hours.

Dan: Days even. Years?

Aaron: Well up on church mountain, we're sad Meryl is dead, Cher is in love again, Manders is pregnant, and the Daddies are still in the movie 

WAIT: we forgot to rank adult daddies hotness

Dan: Oh yes, time to rank the Adult Daddies. First, by hotness. They are, in no order: Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Pierce Brosnan.

Aaron: Okay Stellan loses this match hard for me.

Dan: I mean duh. The movie even makes this 'joke' a few times. That he is ugly now when he used to be hot.

Aaron: Oh my god remember the fat suit? 

Dan: Yes, including one weird joke where Stellan in a fat suit plays his EXTRA ugly twin brother. And then it is revealed that 'sike!' Stellan isn't that fat! He is just normal ugly!

Aaron: Such a strange choice. It makes me said because Boat Boy was SO hot and I know it's not the same person but it just reminded me of time and death.

Dan: RIP Boat Boy. When I was younger, I would have said Pierce is the hottest, no question. Now I feel like maybe Colin?

Aaron: Dan: Yes. Colin is for sure King Hot Daddy, and we're all surprised because Pierce used to be hot. But he isn't wearing his 60s the way he wore his 50s.

Dan: Honestly. I feel like this movie just came during an off cycle for him. If they waited like 3 months and he shed 20 lbs we might be singing a different tune.

Aaron: Very true.

Dan: He was just slightly too out of shape. But sorry Daddy! Them's the rules, you lose.

Aaron: But coupled with the fact that his younger self was the least hot, Pierce slid down in our esteem.

Dan: Yeah he also seemed to care the most that Meryl is dead. Like, get over it, Daddy!

Aaron: Yeah Meryl's scarf and Pierce had a romance in the first movie so he's still broken up about it. And we're now all thinking Colin might be hung bc young Harry for sure was hung. So he slides up. And none of them can sing at all so we can't rank that.

Dan: Okay, OBVIOUSLY the next question: FMK Young Daddies Edition.

Aaron: WOW. Kill motorcycle. Marry Hung Harry. Fuck Boat Boy. You could marry Boat Boy for the boat, but you want him to rock your world.

Dan: Exact same. FMK Old Daddies Edition.

Aaron: This is harder. Kill Stellan. Marry...Pierce? Fuck Colin.

Dan: Actually close but as crazy as it sounds…

Kill Stellan.

Fuck Pierce.

Marry Harry.

Aaron: You're right Dan, I panicked. Colin is so fucking likeable you just gotta marry the guy.

Dan: Pierce lives in a fucking island cave? And has pictures of a 22 year old he fucked once in the 70s all over his house? That's a red flag, ladies!

Aaron: But also means he'll probably give you a weird kinky fuck that will be fun to talk about later.

Dan: Exactly. Next.

FMK Grandma Mia, Mamma Mia, Amanda Mia.

Aaron: Oooooo. Fuck Mamma Mia kill Amanda Mia Marry Cher.

Dan: Wowwww.

Aaron: I'd be fucking Mamma Mia's hair to be clear.

Dan: Duh. Full disclosure I met and fell in love with real life Amanda at the Tompkins Square dog park about 8 years ago when she asked me if her dog would need to wear snowshoe things in New York and our dogs played together and we laughed and laughed so I am not impartial but...I have to kill her.

I used to love her, but I have to kill her.

Aaron: I like Amanda but going off the movie she had nothing to do which is why she had to die

Dan: Okay last one, FMK The Dynamos.

Aaron: Young or Meryl version?

Dan: I think you get both versions in the deal.

Aaron: Gotcha. You go first this time.

Dan: Sure! Fuck Baranski(s). Marry Dobby. Kill Mamma Mia. Which is actually what happened in the movie maybe?

Aaron: Wowowowowowowow. I think this is right? I don't want to kill Dobby is the problem.

Dan: RIGHT! Exactly my problem.

Aaron: I want to protect Dobby. And Mamma Mia is beautiful and Meryl is the queen, but I feel like they have a fighting chance in our death battle 

Dan: Right but also like, I can't marry her. I'm sorry I need to see other islands at some point in my life. And you know Christina has a beating vagina so.

Aaron: She's the clear fuck. If you don't F Baranski...you're broken.

Dan: Well great! I think that about covers it! Any thoughts about this movie we skipped over? Things we didn't cover before we move on to the closing questions? The closing credits number is wild, and like we said, also real from a plot perspective.

Aaron: Yes. So, against my will, Meryl at the end was actually touching. Like I was slightly moved. But then, she backs away slowly and closes the doors on herself and my heart was hardened once more. 

Closing credits is just the weirdest form of porn. Like: here they are together wearing tight clothes. Everyone's happy. Are you hard?????

Dan: Like porn it also made me look nervously around the theatre to see who else was still here watching this macabre display.

Aaron: Right. It's superfluous. You don't need it. You're here just for you.

Dan: I actually wish the whole movie had more shit like this! It was fun at some points but not at others!

Aaron: The movie was very very dumb but I did have a really good time. I did not expect to have as good of a time as I had.

Dan: Same actually, so in that regard, it is a success.

Aaron: I guess if you fill a movie with beautiful charismatic people and put them in the Mediterranean sea, you have a fun movie on your hands.

Dan: I do want to say that I never felt like I was there for these grand adventures, which is something I would sometimes want in an escape move like this. I never felt transported, because nothing happening nor any of the characters felt real. I was just watching people read lines.

Aaron: Yes. The only time I felt whisked away was when they were on the boat.

Dan: Wow like The Lonely Island.

Aaron: Dick in a box actually, yes.  But the characters were fully insane and did nothing even remotely human.

Dan: That seems forgivable but also solvable? Oh well!

Aaron: Another thing I want to add is that I do have respect for actors who can get a script like this and fully commit to it with no wink. Colin is winking but no one else is and that is insane to me. If I had to be in this movie, I would do a take to camera every fucking line. There is no way I could try to make the words sound real.

Dan: I feel like Andy Garcia also leans into it. Like, he plays it TOO straight. Which is just winking with both eyes.

Aaron: But then he tucks his tail between his legs during Fernando. Cher smacks him down.

Dan: He got served, yes.

Aaron: Here's your papers Bit$h 

Dan: Cash me ousside the open air patio how bow dat?

Okay! Time for the closing ceremonies! Question #1! What were your three favorite things about this movie?

Aaron: Boat Boy, Mamma Mia's hair, Fernando.

Dan: Wow. For me:

1) The horse and goat interactions with Mamma Mia. They make her kindness to animals a literal plot point, even though it is not a part of her character other than two tiny moments.

2) I liked when, in the big Japanese business meeting with Colin Firth and the Japanese businessmen, one of the Japanese business men is just looking at a computer with a picture of his wife and daughter. This is immediately after he chides Colin for being "bored." He has no work open on his own dang computer!

3) I thought it was nice that they let Amanda breathe a little bit after she gave birth and actually get some sun on her skin, here on this paradise island.

Next! If you could change one thing about this movie, what would it be?

Aaron: Hmm, truly I would give Amanda more of a narrative than: I want to wear my mother's skin. Even if she was just like: should I stay on this island or move to NYC with my bf? That would've been something.

Dan: Was she this much of an accessory in the first movie?

Aaron: No because she was meeting all her dads and pushing Meryl and in love with Sky. She had a lot going on.

Dan: Oh interesting, good for her! For me:

Now, long time fans of Dan Glaser's Movie Podcast might be able to see where this is going...but I would have loved to see...MORE POTENTIAL DADDIES. Young Mamma Mia is working her way through Europe, raw fucking hot young eligible European men and she stops after...the third one? No thanks! Show me a straight up French Mime. I want to see a big swarthy Italian Pizza Chef. Why not a Swiss Ski Instructor? I literally want a dang ass cattle call of Daddies. Revolving door of stereotypes please.

Aaron: That's good. I also wish she just fucked the 3 daddies more.

Dan: Also a real option.

Aaron: Like all three were cute and you're a Raw Queen. Go to town!

Dan: There aren't a ton of MMF threesomes in RomComs IMO. It seems like the audience would be into that?

Aaron: That would've been GREAT. It would've been harry and Boat Boy.

Dan: I think Harry and Boat Boy would have DEF participated. Lol yes.

Aaron: ‘Cause Harry came to the ferry when they were out on the boat.

Dan: Yes. They set it up.

Aaron: That would've been SO good. Just a good ol fashioned MMF 3some while they sang an ABBA song. Boat Boy would’ve brought up harry's dick and all would've been well.

Dan: Eiffel tower under the Eiffel tower.

Aaron: Ooo la la c’est bon.

Dan: Boat Boy looks down at Harry, turns to camera and says, "I'll have what she's having."

Aaron: Some sort of boat joke too.

Dan: Just some examples, we can always workshop this.

Aaron: “You're really raising the mast.” And Harry would've said:”And you're listing starboard, mate.”

Dan: Exacccccctly. Okay last question! If you could rename this movie, what would you call it?

Aaron: Fuck we have so many good options already. Mamma Mia 2: Hera Pokemon Go To The Polls Again is a classic. But if I had to do a full reboot title I'd call it:

The Curse of Caucasian Island 2: Here We Go Again

Dan: I'd go with: Hotel Rwanda: Greece Edition or A Few Good Men

Well Aaron, thank you so much for joining me today on the pod. I think we both learned a lot about life, love and la bella vida. Any last words for our fans?

Aaron: Thanks for having me! I would say to get drunk as a skunk (responsibly) and then run don't walk to this movie. And NEVER feel bad if you have to pee in the middle of it, nothing in the movie matters. 

Dan: Wow same. And remember: Condoms are for TOURISTS! Live like a local!

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Aaron Jackson is a comedian/writer. He's appeared on The Opposition w/ Jordan Klepper, Broad City, The Detour, and Crashing.  You can follow him on twitter and instagram and purchase tickets to his upcoming live show on Sept 8th: Mrs. Davidson If You're Nasty: An Ariana Grande Jukebox Musical Starring The Audience.