Friday, January 02, 2009


So what does "happy" mean, anyway? Well, I feel no need to parse and define it past "the state of not being unhappy."

Which is a state I find to be pretty darn good.

Happy isn't perfect, isn't (necessarily) fulfilled, it's on the move and frequently fleeting. It's having a messy house and an overweight bod and bills to pay but being able to put the worries down in the corner and listening to the thundering footsteps of all the kids being home and just feeling a smile inside.

For me, anyway.

Maybe that's why I love Mamma Mia, the movie.

It's wholly imperfect (and apparently much work was put into making it so), ridiculous, frothy, meaningless, and boy, do I love it.

I saw it soon after it opened, in between hospitalizations, with a big bunch of my girlfriends. I can't say it removed me from my situation ... you never quite forget the reality you're living ... but it was a break. It was fun. It was happy. When Pierce Brosnan sang, the theatre erupted in spontaneous laughter. A shared moment amongst strangers. That just made it more fun.

Just a few days later, I thought of it and said, I need to see it again. I called my sister, who lives about 3 hours away and said, Come down. You and I and Mom need to go see this.

She did and we did. It was the first movie we'd seen together since I was 16, when we saw Crimes of the Heart.

This time, I could have a beer with my movie.

Mom and Sister both loved it. I burned my mother a copy of the soundtrack, plus a copy of ABBA's Greatest Hits. Every morning, she would wake up and put on the soundtrack. "What is an ABBA?" my father asked, befuddled.

Very simply, it made us happy.

I got my super-deluxe with extras DVD for Christmas. I watched it with The Husband and the kids. They all loved it. Well, the kids did. I think The Husband enjoyed it, but he's not going to go on the record about it.

My mom wanted to see it again. Yesterday, our last day together before she and my dad left for their home in NM, she made time so she could watch it again. And was delighted all over again.

Sometimes, "just happy" is a powerful thing.


uumomma said...

Ditto. Ditto. all of it--ditto. I saw it with my girls and then my mom called me and said "I just saw a movie with a bunch of women from my peace group that I think you need to see... Mamma Mia!" I laughed so hard. She was with us for Christmas and the two best times I had were when she and eldest two daughters and I watched "The Women" and then her last night here when all daughters, mom and I watched "Mamma Mia" and ate fudge and howled again with laughter. Husband would not join us; says he'll watch it with me some time, but I think it will RUIN it for me if he does.

I'm going to get my mom the soundtrack. I had to explain the whole ABBA thing and why the movie made no sense at all. Just fun.

So, Ditto about the "just happy." It did a good thing for a lot of aching hearts this year.

Alex said...

My partner got a DVD copy of the movie and watched it everyday for a week and a half. I watched it with him once.

You're right, this is simply a feel good movie. For me the music helps reconnect to a more innocent era.