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(2008), PG-13 [R-13*] (1hr 42min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
December 24, 2008
December 27, 2008

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2008), PG-13 [R-13*] ... Queens they were. Each of them.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Universal Pictures (presents), Littlestar Productions, Playtone, Internationale Filmproduktion Richter
Distribution (US): Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Director(s): Phyllida Lloyd
Producer(s): Benny Andersson, Judy Craymer, Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Mark Huffam, Björn Ulvaeus, Rita Wilson
Screenplay by: Catherine Johnson
Musical Book: Catherine Johnson
Cinematography/Camera: Haris Zambarloukos
Music: Benny Andersson
Film Editing: Lesley Walker
Casting: Priscilla John
Production Design: Maria Djurkovic
Art Direction: Nick Palmer (supervising art director)
Viewed on Universal Studios Home Entertainment DVD

In this "musical" Donna Sheridan (Meryl Streep) has raised Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) all by her self from birth in Donna's Villa on the Greek Kalokairi Island (actually Skopelos). Twenty years ago Donna had immoral sex with three men and does not know which is the father. Now 20 years old, Sophie is getting married to Sky (Dominic Cooper) and it seems the world shows up for the wedding. Partly due to Sophie.

Sophie has grown up wondering who is her father. Sneaking her mother's diary Sophie learns of the three men who had sex with her mother just before her birth: Sam Carmichael (Pierce Brosnan); Bill Anderson (Stellan Skarsgård); Harry "Headbanger" Bright (Colin Firth). One of them had to be her father since these three were the only ones Donna had sex with, at least so sayeth mom's diary. In a bit of a quandary and without her mother knowing it, Sophie invited all three possible fathers to her wedding. So, which one will give away the bride?

Along with the crowd are Donna's old singing mates: Rosie (Julie Walters) and Tanya (Christine Baranski). The three used to be Donna and the Dynamos. While Streep is certainly not a professional singer she did have her moments. The "moment" that I actually enjoyed was when Donna started singing "Dancing Queen" as she traipsed through the streets of the small town. Like the mice following the pied piper the town's women threw down their dish rags, laundry and brooms to join Donna, snubbing the mediocrity of being middle aged housewives and enjoying themselves as they each pretended to be the dancing queen. It was a delightful display as all the aging mothers and housewives became young again, even if only while singing "Dancing Queen." Queens they were. Each of them.

Through all this, Sophie confided in her two best friends and singing mates, Ali (Ashley Lilley) and Lisa (Rachel McDowall). Together the three plotted and schemed to figure out which of the three men is Sophie's father. Is it Sam? Is it Harry? Or is it Bill? Does Donna know?

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 100 out of 100
There was nothing at all noted regarding violence and/or crime in the entire 102 minute show.

Impudence/Hate (I) - 67 out of 100
There were five dysphemistic uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary plus one euphemistic use of the most foul of the foul words. [Col. 3:8, Eph. 4:29] Other than that the only matters found incorporated by this investigation area were the tattoos and lies. "What? Everyone lies! What's the big deal?" First of all not everyone lies. Jesus didn't. But the big deal is that God is serious about lying. So much so the unforgiven liar will not make it to Heaven. [Rev. 21:8] God makes no allowances about lying.

Sexual Immorality (S) - 28 out of 100
This film is rife with sexually-oriented talk, gestures and behaviors. One scene of full rear male nudity did not help the investigation area score. It would be better to read the listing in the Findings/Scoring section to grasp the scope of sexually immoral content.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - Zero out of 100
This investigation area found enough content to lose all of the starting 100 points. Booze. Drinking. Drunkenness. "But it's all fantasy. It's just a movie." Let me share with you what the American College of Physicians found about such entertainment.

The American College of Physicians (ACP) found that exposure to booze and drinking in and as entertainment emboldens the viewer, in particular the middle school age stratum, the PG and PG-13 age stratum, to challenge the law and experiment with alcohol.

Though the ACP study used R-rated films since it was believed R-rated films contained the most drinking, the focus is on the influence of exposure to alcohol in and as entertainment regardless of the film rating. Besides, the ACP researchers were not aware of R-13 which defeats the assumption that R-rated films present the most drinking and drunkenness. A finding by Harvard University agreed with our R-13 finding, four years after our finding.

Within the ACP study population of 4544 middle school students (90% were under fourteen years old), the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was

  • 46% for those with no restrictions on which rating may be viewed
  • 16% for those with partial restrictions on which rating may be viewed
  • four percent for those with complete restrictions.

    Rather revealing of the influences of the entertainment industry wouldn't you say? [Eph. 5:18] And emboldening children to sin with drink in and as entertainment screams of violating Luke 17:2.

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
    This investigation area, too, found enough abuse of God's name to earn a score of zero in matters of Offense to God, about 19 per hour. [Duet 5:11]

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
    No murders or suicides were found.


    If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy (injurious speech, slander in this use), filthy communication [aischrologia: foul speaking, low and obscene speech] out of your mouth.
  • Eph. 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful [deilos {di-los'}; timid, cowardly], and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers [sexually immoral], and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. [Since "drunk" is methusko {meth-oos'-ko}: to intoxicate; make drunk; to get drunk; become intoxicated, "wine" can be any intoxicating substance including illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs. The issue is do not abuse the body by intoxicating it [1 Cor. 6:19]. Though it is not a sin to drink, it is a sin to get drunk OR to influence to get drunk OR to drink in defiance such as underage drinking.]
  • 1 Cor. 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain. [Vain is shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or responsible discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name or title.]

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    Momma Mia! (2008) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 67 out of 100
  • tattoos
  • lies
  • 5 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary and one use of a euphemism of the most foul of the foul words

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 28 out of 100
  • talk of sexually immoral behaviors, repeatedly
  • sex talk re: intercourse
  • admission of sexually immoral behaviors
  • vulgar gesture re: male anatomy
  • gesture of exposing female breasts
  • swim wear showing lower portion of buttocks
  • innuendo re: sexually immoral behaviors
  • attempted anatomical humor, repeatedly
  • man in towel only
  • rear male nudity
  • below navel skin - male
  • positioning for oral sex
  • self fondling while saying "That kind of fun" twice
  • woman in towel only
  • reference to sex
  • use of sex appeal to manipulate a man

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - Zero out of 100
  • booze, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • drunkenness, repeatedly
  • prescription drug abuse
  • cigar (unlit) twice

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
  • 30 uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive
  • lust for money
  • song speaking to gods being in control

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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