Pierce Brosnan cannot sing. I know this because I was dragged–not exactly kicking and screaming, but close–to "Mamma Mia!" Friday night by my current wife. For me, "The Dark Knight" will have to wait.
Brosnan "sings" only two numbers alone. Actually, one is a duet with Meryl Streep, who can sing and very, very well. What can’t she do well?
Brosnan is many things in "Mama Mia!" He is handsome, charming, funny, well-preserved. Maybe, I’m just jealous. But his singing makes me long for the days when professional singers dubbed songs for actors would couldn’t pull them off on their own. I’ve read reports of audiences bursting into laughter when Brosnan’s numbers are on the screen.
Brosnan’s singing doesn’t ruin the movie. Let’s just say it isn’t the film’s strongest suit. The casting may be. Christine Baranski and Julie Walters are terrific as Streep’s backup singers and friends.
ABBA music is still what it is. (I’ll never get those damn songs out of my head.) The Greek Islands are still beautiful.
Back to Mr. Brosnan’s singing. He joins a long list of male actors who can’t, cast in movie musicals, which, for me, began with Rex Harrison in "My Fair Lady. (I’m old.) At least Mr. Harrison originated the role on Broadway and, I guess, London earlier. Like Brosnan, Mr. Harris charmed his way through it. Unlike Brosnan, who seems to kind of try, Harrison sort of sang/talked his musical numbers.
That was followed a few years later by Richard Harris in "Camelot." Enough said.
Really the joke is on us. Take the money, Mr. Brosnan. Up next for you, the movie version of "Spamalot." Why not?
Speaking of jokes, once again, audiences who walk out on the closing credits of a movie are missing out on one of the funniest scenes in "Mamma Mia!" What they don’t see is an "encore" by the cast in 70′s drag. It’s worth the admission alone.