Spoilers ahead. Mamma Mia! leaves a big question unanswered: Who is Sophie's biological father? It's fine, though, because in both the musical and 2008 movie, the point is that it doesn't really matter since Sam, Bill, and Harry all love Donna and Sophie and want to continue to break into hit after ABBA hit together. But, there are some other unanswered questions in Mamma Mia! that really should be answered, and that tradition is kept up with the new sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
In the first movie, viewers were left wondering things like: Why are Sophie's friends English? How did Donna meet these guys? And where are Sophie and Sky even going? Improbably, Here We Go Again really doubles down on the answered questions. Very basic questions that make you wonder if the movie is making a point or if something was just accidentally cut. An entire character seemingly disappears at one point!
That said, it's hard to not enjoy this movie. ABBA is very distracting. One minute you're wondering what the heck the "goat story" is, knowing full well you'll never find out, but the next, "Dancing Queen" is playing and you're smiling at Colin Firth dancing on a boat. You know what else is distracting? Cher. So it's a good thing she shows up at the end and puts all our worries aside, because there are many.
1. Are Sky and Sophie married?
The entire first movie is based around the fact that Sky and Sophie are about to get married, so you would think this one would reference whether or not that ended up happening. The closest hint is that Sophie is shown at one point wearing a ring on her right middle finger, rather than on her left ring finger. But, as with many things in this movie, I don't know if it was really a hint or just... something that happened.
2. How did Donna die?
Surprise! Meryl Streep's character Donna has died. We know it happened about a year ago, but we never find out how she died. This seems more like how the story leaves out who the real dad is — it doesn't really matter because the point is it's something that happened and here's how the characters are coping with it. But still, how a person died does have an effect on how people react to it, and she clearly didn't die of old age. Boating accident? Cancer? Dancing too hard? Who knows!
3. What happened in the four years before Donna died?
We know that Sophie and Sky left the island for a while, that Sam and Donna stayed together in Kalokairi, and that Bill and Rosie had a go at dating that didn't work out. And that's about it. What was Sam and Donna's life like? Did they leave Kalokairi at all? Is Bill a murderer? (Only thought of that last part just now, but still, we don't know!)
4. Did Donna's travels only take her to Paris and Kalokairi?
Before leaving England, Donna goes on and on about how she's going to travel the world, but then, as far as we know, only goes to Paris and Kalokairi. She knew she was gonna love Kalokairi, so maybe she should've gone other places first. Just sayin'.
5. Where did Young Harry go?
This is one of the most egregious unanswered questions. After Young Harry and Young Donna hook up in Paris, he follows her to Greece but misses the ferry that goes to Kalokairi. One would think this would lead to Harry getting a ride over with Bill before realizing he's also hooking up with Donna, or at least Harry waiting until the next day to get on the ferry, but instead we never see Harry again. He went all the way to Greece and then turned back when he couldn't get on the ferry at the exact moment that he wanted to?
6. Donna is valedictorian at Oxford?!
Fine, this one is answered. Yes, she is. I guess the unanswered question is, "What?!"
7. Did Donna really kiss the teacher?
The song she performs as her valedictorian speech is called "When I Kissed The Teacher". Did she?
8. What is Ruby Sheridan's deal, really?
Young Donna makes clear that her mom, Ruby, isn't a great mother and that she doesn't really like her, but we don't find out much about the reason why. When she shows up to Kalokairi, Ruby seems really rich and stuck up and like she's not a family person, but what else happened? Should Sophie steer totally clear of her? She lives on Kalokairi now with Fernando, so looks like that's not really an option.
9. What is Donna's deal, really?
Donna is more than willing to ditch her entire life and move to Kalokairi, which, sure. But why? We don't find out very much about why she is the way she is. Her mom being stuck up doesn't explain why she also wants to leave all of her friends forever.
10. Why does Sophie have an American accent if she grew up on this island?
11. What kind of award was Bill really getting?
Sophie says that Bill is getting an award for being the "Best Swede Ever" and... it's... a... joke?
12. What was the goat story?
Bill says that he hopes his twin brother doesn't tell the "goat story" when he gives his acceptance speech for his (apparent) "Best Swede Ever" award for him. (This is so Bill can escape to Kalokairi.) What is the "goat story"? This is made even more confusing by the fact that Young Donna is chased by a goat during one scene and this seems to have no connection to Bill's story.
13. What is Sophie's baby's name?
I thought Sophie's baby was going to end up being named Donna, but once we find out she had a boy that clearly wasn't going to be the case. Still, you would think the name (Don?) would be revealed, but think again.
Editor's Note: The baby's name was revealed to be Donny.
14. What on Earth is going on with Bill's "great-aunt" "Sofia"?
OK, bear with me here. In the first movie, it's revealed that Donna got the money to start the hotel from Bill's great-aunt Sofia. She also ends up being Sophie's namesake. In this movie, Young Donna gets the property from a restaurant owner, who seems very great-aunt-like. Wikipedia says her name is Sofia; oddly this character is not listed on the Here We Go Again IMDb page nor on the actor's IMDb page. But, this woman encourages Sam to leave Donna alone by saying she's with Bill now, who she describes as being the biggest playboy in Europe and who has so many notches in his bedpost that the bed falls apart.
Did Here We Go Again decide to just ditch the aunt part, or is Bill's aunt over here secretly ruining Donna's life and saying inappropriate stuff about her great-nephew's sex life. Donna and Sam missed out on spending their lives together because this woman convinced Sam to give up on winning Donna back, and I am really mad at her now!
Cher, I need you.
Whew. Thank, goodness.
Go to Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again for the fun of it. Stay for the questions you think will be answered. Leave with Cher singing "Fernando" on your mind for four days, soothing away the pain of the world and dusting away the mind-boggling plot of this movie.
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