*******WARNING: Issa Rant********
Here they go again. For those of you who are blissfully unaware of the plot of the musical turned movie, Mamma Mia! (lucky you), basically, the story follows a young woman who is getting married and invites three different men to her wedding when she finds out that her mother slept with all of them around the same time and is unsure of which one is her father (the girl never met any of them and never knew who her father was).
Why isn’t this a Jerry Springer episode, you may ask? Well, the characters are all white, so it’s cute and fun and ABBA recorded some records for it—not trashy and low-class, as it would be if it were some hoodrat Black folks.
But, I digress. Beyond the obvious, the story is just not interesting. I watched this movie on cable some years ago and by the end, I was like…whet? I love me some Pierce Brosnan (lemme get some of dat four leaf clover, baby!) and I like Meryl Streep, but the whole thing was so beyond the realm of my understanding or caring that I could only shake my head and mutter the ever-applicable punctuation to my confused thoughts about what is happening in our society: “white people.”
You must excuse my fervor, but when I saw this trailer, I was still a little sick from having spent 1 hour and 50 minutes of my life watching Meryl Streep violate us again in the film Florence Foster Jenkins. That movie is pretty much a two hour study on the lengths to which white society will go to protect the honor of a white woman no matter what. In yet another movie with pretty much *only* features white characters, Meryl Streep assaults our ears and our senses with her violent singing (the quality of which everyone around her lies to her about) in the name of her love of “music,” and folks scamper to the high heavens and back in order to keep her from the cold, hard truth of how fucking awful she sounds. Because she is rich and white and therefore the entire world must bend over backwards to make sure that reality never touches her life at any point, we get a movie about this nonsense. I can’t figure out if I am more upset that so many actors I enjoy deemed this worthy of 2 hours of my time, or that they actual tried to make me care about this bullshit because her “health” depended on it or whatever (no people ever tried this hard to protect the health of an old Black lady, because that would mean that we are held in high esteem and that our lives are highly valued, and, well, history….). Or maybe what pisses me off the most is that this is apparently based on a true story. The only sane character in the whole debacle of a movie was a critic who rightly told Hugh Grant’s character, “that you encouraged Mrs. Jenkins to make a spectacle of herself is really unforgivable.” It is a beautiful thing to be a generous patron of musical arts; it is a vainglorious thing to insist that everyone around you hitch themselves to your tone-deaf tailcoats and hang on for dear life while you scream like a wild banshee at them in order to receive your patronage. It is indicative of our society as a whole that a collection of people would write, act in, finance, and market a film that attempts to portray the latter as some sort of sweet innocence that must be protected and indulged (this was nominated for multiple Oscars – let that sink it).
STOP! Before you think that I am trying to make everything about race (well…); think about most of the mainstream movies that you have seen in the last several years with a Black or other minority lead. They are typically about someone with outstanding, exceptional abilities. Hidden Figures. Black Panther. A Wrinkle in Time. The Queen of Katwe. Marshall. Even Girls Trip. Whatever. We don’t *typically* get movies made about us just because we were spectacularly subpar—you can catch that on the 6-o-clock news #doe. Must be nice.
In the meantime, Jesus, please be a fence to keep this new Mamma Mia hogwash out of my life, abeg. If I truly cared about Who-the-Daddy Roulette, I could entertain myself with some of my own cousins’ family trees for hours.