Mamma Mia and Second Chances for First Loves

Last night was boy’s night, so when I finished my words for the day, I rewarded myself with Mamma Mia, which I’d been in the mood to watch since our #ROW80 Twitter party on Wednesday when people kept posting clips of Dancing Queen where I couldn’t actually sing and dance in my office.  Since no one was actually home to be witness to this potentially egregiously embarrassing display, I cut loose, singing and dancing in the living room for the whole movie.

Now, I feel compelled to point out that I can actually sing.  I’m not Kristen Chenilworth, but I have 7 years of choir, including show choir, under my belt (which is part of my love for Glee).  I was the chick they kept in show choir because they needed an alto who could project, unmiked, to the back row of the auditorium.  I was also the chick they kept on the back row of risers, despite being incredibly short, so that no one could actually SEE that I have no rhythm.  So last night I belted out to the movie and danced in all my a-rhythmic glory.  And scared my dogs.  They abandoned me about halfway through.  Traitors.

In any event, I love this movie.  It was a surprise to me, actually, as I’m not a huge Abba fan.  But I adore this story, and part of why is that I have this incredible soft spot for stories about love gone wrong that gets a second chance.  I mean, sure, Sophie is adorable, but it’s Donna and Sam that I keep coming back for (and the Dynamos who are freaking hilarious–I could so play Rosie in another twenty years–can anybody believe that’s Mama Weasley?).   That LOOK on Meryl Streep’s face when she finds out that Sam actually came back for her.  Ah!  I just love.  Enough to forgive the fact that Pierce Brosnan really can’t sing.

Say I do...

I LOVE books and movies where the hero and heroine have a history together.  It makes for such delicious emotional complication.  I’m not sure why I’ve always loved this trope.  I guess…I see so many people in relationships that get screwed up for one reason or another, and the optimist/romantic in me really loves the idea that maybe with another chance they can get it right.  It’s definitely something I’ve done a lot (and will continue to do) in my own work.  Gage and Embry in Forsaken By Shadow.  Kensie and Collin in the book that got rewritten 9 times in as many years that is not likely to ever see the light of day–it was my therapy book.  I had some demons to exorcise.  Eli and Maya in an as yet unnamed but planned Mirus book.  Y’all don’t know who they are, but they’re on my mind this morning.

I’ve heard some people say this kind of set up is a cop out to avoid having to show the heroine and hero realistically falling in love because they already ARE they just won’t admit it.  And in some cases it’s true.  But I think it’s equally challenging, if not sometimes more-so, to show them getting past their pride and prejudices and overcoming whatever pain and misunderstandings led to their original estrangement.  I love seeing the contrast of who they were to who they are now.

What’s your favorite story (book or movie) about old loves coming back together?  I’m always on the lookout for more.

13 thoughts on “Mamma Mia and Second Chances for First Loves

  1. “I LOVE books and movies where the hero and heroine have a history together.” Me too!

    “I think it’s equally challenging” … I think the challenge lies in showing their past, in let the reader know what happened to them in the past (their beautiful love, their tragic break up, etc) without a whole lot of backstory.

    I recently watched another movie like this one, not a musical though. It’s Letters For Juliet. Lovely. Super cute.

    And as for real life, my mother-in-law just got back with her first love (my husband’s father died 10 years ago). They dated when she was 17 to 23, then broke up. She married my husband’s father when 28. Then he died and, years later, she bumped into her first love.I never saw her more happy than right now (they’ve been together for 5 years I think).
    It’s a beautiful story =)

    And bye to you cause I’m supposed to be on a #1k1hr lol

  2. It’s a great movie! I agree, stories where a couple overcomes astounding odds to reclaim their first, and true love, are soooo delicious!
    Wish I had some great recommendations but I am totally drawing a blank today – if I think of any, I’ll be back! LOL! Happy weekend!

  3. Best (albeit slightly unconventional) instance in recent memory of a couple with a history? DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE. GUH.

    Wish I could have been there for this Mamma Mia party!

  4. I love second chances! It’s one of my favorites as well, seeing them get past whatever split them up. Or has kept them apart, which I think is one of the reasons I also like friends to lovers stories.

    Ha! I was also that alto at the back of the choir despite being short and having the voice 😀

  5. I wondered if Mamma Mia would be good. It didn’t really look like my kind of movie, but now I think I want to see it. :0)

    I was never in choir at school, but I’m the only alto at church that will sing loudly enough. LOL

  6. First, to be a fly on the wall while you were singing your heart out. Oh my.

    Old loves coming back together again? Trying to think of one off the top of my head… Singles had a couple that didn’t get along, broke up kinda but got back together at the end. It was all tied up neatly, but my wife loves the movie. Shrug. Best I can do on short notice.


  7. I love those stories. I call it the Reunited- Feels So Good category. I’ve never heard anyone call it a cop-out. That’s silly. I love how the previous relationship adds so much tension to the story.

    One of the first ones I loved: The Parent Trap.

  8. If you’re willing to watch anime, Macross Plus the Movie (for heavens sake not the OVA… While a fuller story what was cut makes you love the characters more) and watch it with subtitles because the voices are better that way. Three high school friends that broke apart after an incident are united on their home planet. Torches are still carried and so is the heaviness of that incident.

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