Every man does things for his wife for no other reason than to make her happy. It’s the nature of marriage. We squawk and brag about wearing the pants in the family, but you know there are things that you do that you would rather not let the other guys know about. And I’m not talking about holding her purse, going to the opera, or not smacking her brother even when he really deserves it. Those belong to a category of stereotypical things that every man does, and if you do something in that category, we all nod inwardly and think of a similar thing we do for our own spouse. No, I’m talking about the really embarrassing things that you’d rather not anyone know about. Things like donning a dress so she could pin the hem. Or learning what a word like ‘taupe’ or ‘taffeta’ means and correctly using it in a sentence. Or watching ice dancing. Unless you’re a , there’s something your wife wants from that category, and you’ve done it.
For me, it’s listening to ABBA. Yes, that ABBA. Hiney-shakin’, pants-suit-wearin’, free-lovin’ seventies Swedish super-group ABBA. My wife, being a musical type, loves ABBA and whenever we go to her mothers’ house, the cassette goes in the car and we end up listening to their gold album of ‘hits’ (they were huge in Denmark). Now this has been going on for years, and I hesitate even now to admit it. But you can nip any manly protest of outrage or snort of derisive laughter in the bud right now, because I know there’s something comparable in your closet. If there isn’t, then you haven’t been married very long, or won’t be much longer. As stated before, it’s the nature of marriage. I bring forth this revelation for your own good and the protection of your very sanity. You see the music of ABBA was the inspiration for stage musical that ran in New York and possibly some flyover territory. It was well received by the Will & Grace crowd and was the toast of the town for some time. It was then, after that initial success, that it mutated into the movie, !.
Mamma Mia! stars The King’s Speech and tells the story of a young blonde chick getting married at the hotel her mother owns on some Greek Island . She wants to invite her dad to the wedding, but she has no idea who daddy is. So she invites the three past loves of her mother, the tramp, and wonder of impractical movie plotline wonders, they all show up at the same time! No, I’m not making this up. Now mind you, this was not a movie we rented, but rather it was one of those moments where I was tired at the end of the day, and just wanted something mindless to watch. There was nothing. And I mean nothing. No video tape shows of anyone getting racked, or “How they Make Doorknobs” documentaries. No “History of Sex”, no sports. There wasn’t even a stinkin’ “Law & Order” on, and that’s saying something. I’m not sure what happened next. I was tired, nodding off. I woke and my wife had the remote. I know, I know! You don’t have to say it. Next thing I know I’m hearing, “oh, I’ve heard this was fun,” and we were watching Mamma Mia!. I didn’t see the danger when I scanned the channels earlier. Apparently my brain didn’t even register that as a viewing possibility, sort of like a Spanish channel or BET., , and that British actor from
My limbs were weak. I couldn’t move. The abomination that unfolded before me was sucking the very life out of me. It wasn’t a train wreck. No, a train wreck is something you watch with horrified fascination, unable to tear yourself away from the awesome spectacle of sheer raw carnage. No, my friends, this was like watching a botched liposuction. It’s not something you would want to see in the first place, but on top of that you can tell it was going horribly, horribly wrong. If you ever find yourself accidentally seeing this movie, do yourself a favor and gouge your eyes out. And it being a musical, puncture your eardrums as well. Induce vomiting. Run screaming through the nearest closed window. Do anything to distract yourself and your spouse. Set fire to the cat.
No, I shouldn’t say that. I mean, I wouldn’t want my vitriolic rhetoric to cause any harm to come to a cat. Not only would it be unfair to the cat, but the ensuing sound wouldn’t be distinct enough from that which emanates from the movie. Meryl Streep can’t sing. I mean, I know she’s the best actress of her generation. Everybody says so. You can tell because she can weep on demand and her fake accent sounds distinctly non-American whether she has a farm in Africa or a bridge in Madison County . But she can’t sing. And watching her try to sing “Money, money, money” with a backup chorus of fat Greek washer women was particularly excruciating. And as a brief aside, can we really feel sympathy for someone who is lamenting about not having enough money when she owns a freakin’ hotel on an idyllic Greek island? I mean the setup was straight from the Menopausal Wymyn’s Guide to Dream Sequences. She sings, she laments over wine with her best friends laughing and giggling about how done they are with men. I was waiting for one of them to mention that waiter, what was his name? Jean Luc!
So the daddies arrive and are implausibly stowed by babycakes up a ladder into a storage room. Seconds later Streep secretly discovers the trio and launches into the title song. Now, she seems to know she can’t sing, because while huskily belting out lyrics that have absolutely nothing to do with the situation, she is acting. I mean act-TING, man. She’s surprised! She’s flustered! She swoons indecisively! She flits under, beside and above the room, peeking in this way and that, clearly torn by long-suppressed desire and revulsion of anything with a pen1s. The words she sings are ridiculously mismatched with the scene, so she conveys emotions with her hands, her eyes, her head. I mean this made Kabuki look dull. She’s acting so hard with her whole body it was like epileptic performance art. But damn, she must have been good at it. I mean she is the best actress of her generation. Everybody says so.
Anyway, the rest of the movie went downhill from there. Stay away from this atrocity at all costs, if you value your sanity. While I mentioned the things we do for our wives above, under no circumstances should watching this movie be one of them. If only I’d had a good friend to warn me ahead of time, as I do now for you. Save yourselves. I thought it I could handle it, getting some brownie points from the wife. I was wrong. Dead wrong. I feel scarred by this event, and I only watched 8 minutes of the movie. Just think if I’d seen the whole thing. …shudder…
trailer for Mamma Mia
trailer for The King's Speech
Law and Order (before it became silly)