A few days ago I received this in an e-mail from my friend Ellin:
We went to see Mamma Mia tonight and It really made me think about you guys, maybe it was all the ABBA music or perhaps the friendships.
followed almost immediately by this from my friend Linda:
Oh my God! My mom and I saw Mamma Mia last Saturday and the first thing I told her was that when it comes out on DVD I’m sending a copy to each of you! How wild is that? We roared.
Olivia and I finally went to see it today. I've been trying for weeks to get someone to go to this movie with me. My sister wanted to see it, but we never got it worked out. My mom and my aunt wanted to see it, but that didn't work out either. Tom said he had two reasons for not wanting to see it. Balls. But Olivia and I finally went, and we had a blast.
First of all - Ellin and Linda were both right - when I finally got a chance to see the movie it immediately made me think of them, too. Ellin and Linda and I have been friends since Jr. High. I don't even like to count up how many years that's been. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 30+. That can't be right... but I think it is.
So watching a movie about three lifelong friends (with a subplot about one of their daughters and her 2 dear friends), it was kind of hard not to draw comparisons. Olivia was laughing so hard at the dancing and the costumes. I told her Ellin and Linda and I were going to do that at her wedding. Instead of the "don't you dare" I was expecting I got an "I sure hope so!" So girls, I figure we have 15, 20 years anyway. What do you want to work on? Waterloo?
We bought "ABBA Gold" before the evening was over. Olivia was really digging the music, so I had a perfectly good excuse.
Because, here's the thing: Of course ABBA was quite ubiquitous in the 70's. I was certainly more than a little aware of it. But I wouldn't say I was a fan. I never bought a record (until today). I never squealed "ooooh! this is my song!" when one of their songs was played on the AM radio station (WCRO-the music you grew up with). So why, then, did every commercial for "Mamma Mia" make me happy to an extent that was unreasonable? Why did the movie (despite its bad reviews - whatever) make me tear up over and over? And why did the very same music have the very same effect in "Muriel's Wedding" over a decade ago? ("...my life is as good as an ABBA song. It's as good as Dancing Queen") I don't know. I don't want to analyze. It's just good, good fun.
I miss having close girlfriends so much.
Friendship has been a recurring theme this week. First a guest poster on The GUI Girl's blog provided a lovely and accurate synopsis of what happens to those friendships when our lives scatter us around. Then Lea spent a lot of time crying about friendship/popularity/false rumor issues at school. Then Olivia burst into tears because it's always been easy for her to walk into a new situation and make friends and middle school just isn't working out that way so far. So all three Howard girls are lonely. And sad.
A movie that features such a strong emphasis on how those deep friendships endure despite the issues of time and space was just what the doctor ordered.
Coupling it with music that - like it or not - it's almost impossible to be sad to was a bonus. And dancing. I so love a movie where large groups spontaneously burst into song and dance. (Always wondered how that would play out in the real world? Check this out) Also, if I may step into the shallow end of the Mediterranean for a moment - Greek boys is purty.
Also, Linda? Thanks in advance for that DVD... Both of you have birthdays coming up - do you already have the soundtrack?