My expectations for the ABBA musical Mamma Mia! were low. Very low. My expectations were so low that they dug a hole all the way to China and were walking around upside down asking for a fork (my expectations never learned how to use chopsticks). But oh, how young and wrong I was then! Mamma Mia! is pure entertainment. Sparkling and earnest, hammy beyond all acceptable boundaries of ham, full of slow-motion leaping and young love—it's the movie equivalent of, well, ABBA. The cast rules: Meryl Streep is adorable; Pierce Brosnan sings (TERRIBLY) and stands on a cliff looking windswept in front of an Aegean sunset. Mamma Mia! entertained the shit out of me.
I have but one tiny issue. There are lots and lots of straight people in Mamma Mia!, and quite a bit of man-on-lady mouth kissing. Christine Baranski's face spends some time in the crotch of a young bartender. In one scene ("Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! [A Man After Midnight]"), a throng of ABBA-addled Bacchae stops just short of raping Stellan Skarsgård. There is also a gay character in Mamma Mia!. This gay (who may or may not be played by Colin Firth) kisses no one, gropes no one, and attends to the crotch of no one.
Now, I'm no Professional Professor of Statistics, MD, but based on the following extremely scientific joke equation: (feathered Swedes + spangled jumpsuit)/"Fernando" = gay dudes * x, wherein x = total population of ABBA fans; it appears that gays make up approximately 175 percent of the potential audience for Mamma Mia! (the other 25 percent being what we'll call Aunts of a Certain Age). So what percentage of ABBA fans would prefer seeing Firth share a gay kiss with a swarthy Greek over not seeing Firth share a gay kiss with a swarthy Greek? Science may never know. But just a thought, Mamma Mia! creators: It might've been considerate to break out of that old-timey, wink 'n' a chuckle, confirmed bachelor, knowing-glance-with-a-side-of-innuendo mold, when it comes to the only gay character in your movie adaptation of a Broadway musical based on sequined bell-bottoms. It is 2008, after all. The word is out on gay kissing.