It’s All Swedish To Me!

In honour of our fine young Swedish exchange student,  Jesper, I could not help myself but give you one of the best (ish) movies from Sweden..

Now, I have to say, as a lover of foreign movies, I came to the conclusion that I need to watch them when I am NOT ironing. I do like to wile away the boring ironing times by watching something.. but  as good as I am at  ironing, I cannot for the life of me do that and follow subtitles at the same time. But Gimme, gimme a movie with music and I can be a dancing ironing queen!

Now,  you may be forgiven if you think the best(ish) movie  is “The Girl With The Something Tatoo”  Sorry and all.. but… no.   It’s not. I don’t like graphic movies that come with a warning..  Here is the one I am thinking of, but, my friends, it also comes with a warning.. although not quite in the same frame as “The Girl..” I must tell you, it may still  not be a pretty sight. This one is  from the renowned Swedish Director Lars Hallstrom. Yes, the Director who gave us The Cider House Rules, Chocolat, and Whats Eating Gilbert Grape    gave us this. His first foray into major motion picture making… and one which he  rue’s the day he made. (He admits it!)  For all of us ABBA fans though, we say a huge Thank You For the Movie… even if we thought it was a bit naff as well, but hey, everyone has to start somewhere, right?

 One of the greatest groups of all time,  forever immortalized on the silver screen…

                                                                      ABBA: The Movie.

Now, for all you people who have seen “Mamma Mia” on the screen and/or the theater, PLEASE, if there is any justice in the world.. lay off the campy soundtracks and get to the real thing will ya? I love Meryl too… but the Name of the Game my friends, is authentic is best. There are a couple of ways you can do this: You can actually  buy “ABBA The Movie”  It has taken years to become available on DVD , but with protestations over some twenty years (pathetic, I know) it IS now available. Failing that,  there is always ABBA: Song Star, which is like karaoke but  is also a  game and you get to sing with them on the screen, because, you know, they were the group that paved the way with the original movie video. Yes, I know, Queen did the scaramoosh, vandango thing… but it was ABBA that started the video for each single they released.

So Lars, this girl with the grayish golden hair thanks you, and, whenever  I (have a) dream, I can be transported once again to my youth, even when I’m ironing. 

Go On,  Take a Chance on it…


If it’s good enough for Olivia Newton-John, it’s good enough for me!

When I was thinking of putting this blog together and coming up with a name, it seemed only right and fitting that a movie should come to mind. Unfortunately, that’s not all that came to mind.

I recall trying to Rollerblade on Venice Beach the year Xanadu came out. We thought we were so cool, these two english girls on one of the most well-known beaches in California. Looking untanned and even more uncoordinated, we were about as much of a disaster as the movie was.  It seemed like a good idea at the time as I am sure the original idea for a rollerblading musical was.  How they ever sang on those things I will never know.  

Still a guilty pleasure for many people even after 30 years, this cheesy, yet oddly fun rollerblading  disaster of a movie, became a cult favourite, and even saw  a resurgence with a stage version on Broadway in 2007 which ran for over 500 performances. 

The successful Xanadu soundtrack spawned a number of hits, and the song Suddenly, was performed as a duet between Olivia Newton-John and Cliff Richard,who have been friends for years. An English national treasure, Sir Cliff has been on the top of his game since the 60’s and was our answer to Elvis Presley.

The producers somehow obtained the services of the legendary Gene Kelly and as cute as his dance routines in the movie were,  could not erase the spectacle of  other outlandishly bad routines.

 Unfortunately, this was to be Gene’s last movie. If, like me, you would like to remember him in something er, better, I would suggest you spend an evening with the classic musical Singing In The Rain.  Saying that, if you are having a particularly bad day, you may just want to check out Xanadu for the fun of it too. 

As  Olivia and I share the name Muze,  I am hoping I have as much fun with this blog as she did in Xanadu. I am, however, hoping I can avoid everything else associated with the movie, especially roller blades. 🙂  Thanks for coming along for the ride.  Strap on your rollerblades and let’s  go for a spin, but if you don’t mind, I’ll walk.