Though not exactly an up to the minute cultural reference I am inspired to write a little about Mamma Mia. I recorded the film of this musical extravaganza on Saturday night, since when my 2 and 4 year old boys have asked to watch it 6 times. Now I like the film (and I know a lot of folks out there who will be apoplectic with disapproval just on that basis ;) - but 6 times is quite a lot in less than a week. I have ended up asking myself questions about said film musical which far out-weight the actual weight of the material. Questions about feminism, women's self-image, modern models of family and assumptions about marriage (not to mention the idea that an apparently C of E priest can turn up on a Greek island, wave his hands in the air and people are miraculously married!)
I will say two things here - the first is that it needles me that an apparently competent and capable woman seems to have been waiting 20 years for some bloke to come back and validate her existence. It's very Mills & Boon. I appreciate the idea is that they are in love - and it's the love of their lives - and I'm OK with this. I'm not so OK with the idea that he's gone off and done stuff and she has waited on a Greek island like a girl-myth for him to bring her back to life. (Yes, she has brought up her daughter, but other than the 3 flings on which the plot is based there is no intimation that she has had any kind of romantic life or adult relationships during that 20 year interlude.)
The second thing I will say is that every time I see Dancing Queen - sung and danced by women of all ages, shapes and sizes - lifting their faces to the sun and letting the joy flow - it simply makes me want to weep (in a good way). It's a spontaneous moment (I know I know - highly choreographed spontaneity!) - it's inclusive, it's purely celebratory - and it's hugely powerful. I think this may only be for women, and perhaps even women of a certain age, which I have obviously reached.
I told you 6 times in a week was too many times!