Sunday, August 9, 2009

Oh, Mamma Mia!

American Idol, watch out!

I'm quite ill with a sinus infection, so my mom offered to take the girls off my hands for the evening. She had a copy of Mamma Mia that she hadn't seen yet (nor had I), and made a movie night for the girls. I was still really busy choosing and buying more books for the school library, so I left to spend a few hours at the bookstore.
The problem? Hmm. The movie. Other families had raved about what fun it was, but I vaguely knew the premise, about a daughter inviting multiple former boyfriends of her mom to her wedding in the hopes of connecting with her father. Hmm. Not exactly child-appropriate content. But then again, was Grease?! I remember seeing that when I was little, loving all songs, and having NO clue about the larger plot. Grease was such a cultural landmark in my childhood--I remember all those songs by heart to this day--and I thought the kids would be thrilled to hear all the musical numbers by Abba... (They have danced to Abba songs in the past at their Russian kindergarten and loved them).
The musical ran last year in Moscow, and it was immensely popular. Many families I know took their kids to it. I didn't, because, well... I couldn't quite fathom going to a musical translated into Russian, especially when the songs are well-known in the original. (Then again, we did go see Beauty and the Beast this year, and it was phenomenal). I really needed an evening without the kids to get all this last-minute stuff done, so I figured, "Sure, sounds great."

In the end, I figured my kids would simply pay attention to the cool scenery of Greece (where we might go on a school trip next year) and to the fun music. They did, of course LOVE the music and island setting... But they also picked up OH so much more...

My mom first realized that she might be in for it afterwards, when Natalia declared:

Natalia: "I just loved the part when the girl told her mom 'I don't even care if you slept with a hundred men; you're my mom and I love you!'"

My Mom: (She surely then thought to herself that I was going to freak out! She also was probably praying that Katya wasn't going to offer some up some "gem" of her own...)

Katya: (Eager to add her two cents, of course, and right on cue...) "And I loved the part where you saw the man's butt behind his apron!"

Oh..... At times like this, there's a whole lot to be said for the 100% control I have over my kids' media exposure in Moscow... They pretty much only watch DVDs that I personally choose and buy...

At the end of the day, however, I bet the movie's plot did go right over their heads... And I bet all they'll remember is the fantastic time they had dancing in the kitchen afterwards with their grandma. (I also have SUPERB video of the three of them shakin' it once I got home, but out of deference to my mom, I'm not posting it...)


garnet said...

Hilarious! I bought myself Mamma Mia! as a present this summer and just within the past week finally found the private time to watch it. I absolutely loved it -- it was such a fun movie and of course the scenery is gorgeous. It has been my dream for forever to visit a Greek island. We keep talking about it with my in-laws but there is never free time. If you get to go I will be so jealous!

However, I first learned about the movie upon the recommendation of a woman who went to see it and then went again, taking her daughter who is about nine or ten, I think, and I was a bit surprised that this was something she'd take her to see. I couldn't imagine sharing it with my daughter until she was much, much older. Like probably well into her teens when it would be easier to talk about the fact that I like the movie because it's fun, and I'm not recommending a girl pattern her life after the mother's.

Still, I loved the movie so much that I just bought myself the soundtrack. It makes great walking music, particularly if I skip over Pierce Brosnan's solos!

garnet said...

Oops, hit publish to soon. Meant to add, Hope you feel better soon! What a miserable way to spend time in the states.

Rachael said...

Get yourself to the doctor ASAP so you can get better before you travel home! Poor you. And probably no rest in sight with all those boxes to pack. :(

I'm sure your girls were mesmerized by the song and dance. It is a fun movie -- the play is even better. Derrick and I have seen it 3 times.

Annie said...

I decided that I personally wouldn't care for the plot (still a Puritan at heart) but let Anastasia rent it at the video store because....well, because she seemed to come to us at age 7 with more "exposure" to not-so-morally uplifting media than I could ever counteract by closing the barn door after THAT horse got out.

I don't know if you read my TTT (Too True Tuesday) post, but in it I reveal the lengths I went to to protect my elder two from unedifying media.... Honestly, I look at them now and doubt there is any difference between them and children who "imbibed" from day one....I mean, no difference that a little more "Tootsie" and "Goodbye Girl" and a little less "Masterpiece Theater" would have made.....

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