Monday, January 26, 2009


Okay, enough carping about our current crop of political buffoons for a moment to tell you about a very strange experience I had recently. An incident that will undoubtedly release both mirth and scorn from my brother and my buddies, and maybe even make them wonder if they should revoke my Guy Card. Yes, I viewed a Chick Flick, a musical at that, with my wife and found it rather enjoyable.

Most guys are like my friend Matt when it comes to musicals. “Does it having singing in it?” “Yes.” “Then I wouldn’t like it.”

I began my acquaintance with musicals because of my daughter Sabrina, who had an incredible singing voice herself. We saw The Sound of Music approximately 742 times, so we all knew all the songs by heart. By about the 5th viewing, most guys would be rooting for the Nazis to wipe everyone out. I actually got to enjoy it, and The Wizard of Oz, too. In retaliation, I managed to turn Sabrina into a John Wayne fan.

I understand this phobia about musicals being fruity. A lot of the guys singing and dancing in these musicals are obviously gay as a French horn. Witness those “football players” in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

But also witness that the afore-mentioned movie, which is admittedly pretty lame, also had Burt Reynolds in it, and Burt is always manly, even without the black Trans-Am. And you could always use the excuse that you were just going to see a younger Dolly Pardon in lingerie. My personal favorite, and much more testosterone-loaded is Paint Your Wagon. I mean come on, we’re talking a WESTERN with CLINT EASTWOOD and LEE MARVIN that involves drinking and fighting and chasing women between the songs. Can’t get much more macho than that. I can heartily recommend Paint Your Wagon to the estrogen-impaired.

So anyway, back to seeing a chick flick with my wife. It was Mamma Mia! Yes, I thought I would require lots of caffeine and possibly a barf bag to endure it, but actually it was downright enjoyable. Granted, I could have done without the romance between the little 20-year-olds, but that’s probably because I’m becoming enough of a curmudgeon that I am annoyed by ALL little 20-year olds these days. And yes, the plot was both silly and superficial, but still a lot of fun and a refreshing change from the lame, predictable, self-flagellating, left-wing crap Hollyweird usually oozes out these days.

I gave up completely on rock/pop when Springsteen did Streets of Philadelphia, and haven’t strayed far from the country and oldies radio stations in a long, long time. I suppose the reason Mamma Mia! was so darned enjoyable was that some of us actually remember those old ABBA songs. So what if some of the early lyrics are a bit shallow; they did sell 370 million records around the world and the music stays with you. Like The Brady Bunch or Gillian’s Island theme songs, ABBA songs are permanently embedded into the DNA of my generation. You go a few decades without them, and it’s actually quite fun to hear those old songs again, tapping your toes to the fast-paced instrumentals and singing along the six words from the refrain that you actually remember.

Plus it was nice that Sweden could become known for something other than Vikings, Rapala fishing lures, ice fishing augers, the 6.5x55mm rifle cartridge, and the Carl Gustav 84mm recoilless rifle. Well, at least that's what I think of in conjunction with Sweden, but I'm weird. And I digress. Back to Mamma Mia!

Visually, the waaaayyyy beyond cheesy “70’s look” of some of the costumes is absolutely hilarious now that the scars of once taking them seriously have had almost 30 years to heal; the bell bottoms and glitter and those boots. BWAHAHAHA! The landscape of a Greek island in the Mediterranean where the movie was filmed got me longing to visit such a place myself. Preferably Crete, because I’ll bet they have a helluva WWII airborne museum. I also particularly enjoyed Christine Baranski in her role as the Cougar.

So, all in all, if you’re old enough to remember the music, you can safely go see Mamma Mia! with your wife or girlfriend, pretend you’re grudgingly doing it for her, and secretly enjoy it.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled political bitching.


Ben said...

You're such a sweet lil' thing!

Unknown said...

I actually saw this over the Christmas holiday. My wife got it for her, but I watched it too. I grew up with ABBA also, and had the tapes to boot. I actually quite like the movie, even if I found the whole thing overly childish.

I know your wife would have enjoyed it, and nice to see you did also. Just don't expect to talk about it over a camp fire. :)

Ben said...

No, I can't give you too much guff. I see my fair share of chick flicks these days and even enjoy them occasionally. I think "Mamma Mia" will be coming from Netflix soon.

Ben said...

Ok, I just watched "Mamma Mia." The only song I knew was "Dancing Queen." I had to eat charred animal meat and guzzle straight bourbon to keep my breasts from growing while watching it.

I did enjoy the Grecian scenery, as you mentioned, and my hope that Pierce Brosnan would knock back a martini and pull out his PPK to whack some commies (starting with Maryl Streep) kept me watching. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go do my nails.

Bawb said...

Yes, it would have been cool to see 007 go ballistic all over the island with guns and explosives and maybe a cell phone that folds out into a submarine.

But Real Men are secure enough to watch chick fliks with the little wifey.