No, don't worry, I'm not going on a diet. It is just that after years of being a pretentious, intellectual snob I have decided that I am allowed to enjoy myself. My rare forays to the cinema always ended with me finding something crushingly depressing or tedious art house tripe that I tried to pretend to like. I am cured. Last night I went to see Mama Mia! I am with Norm. Ridiculous, superficial, naff, certainly, but it is also a thoroughly enjoyable and happy middle age fantasy.
What mainly drew me was the other star of the film, Greece. It was shot in the Sporades and Pelion. I could identify many of the locations and seeing them was tear-jerkingly evocative on a cool Manchester evening. There is one scene with a small boat leaving the jetty in the dark with the moon spreading a rippling satin streak on the water and the night sky laden with stars. You could be forgiven for thinking that it was a studio mock up. No, it really is like that. I am not sure I would have liked the movie quite as much if it had been filmed in Withernsea.
There is the inevitable stereotyping, but on the whole the film caught the atmosphere of some of the more out of the way places well. And, despite the critics, Meryl Streep was perfect as the kind of ex-pat you can find, working impossibly hard to run a small business so that they can stay and raise a family there, instead of having the comfortable professional existence that could have been theirs elsewhere if they had chosen not to dream.
The broadsheet critics hated it of course. Then they too need to lighten up a bit. Now all I have got to do is to get those bloody tunes out of my head.