I'm a Photoshopper by trade. If Adobe had never released the program, I would likely be digging latrines in the Peace Corps or fetching coffee for some now-bankrupt investment professional.
As a photoshopper (aka a 'chopper), I retouch a lot of photos. I remove wrinkles, eye bags, the occasional bruise. I comp together a million little bits to meld it all into a seamless whole that pleases the eye.
Sometimes I make things beautiful.
Sometimes I make things scary.
Sometimes I make things cleaner.
Never have I been called upon to make a lovely young girl look like a swan with a goiter.
Here is the "Mamma Mia" movie poster. Why they couldn't have directly recreated the cover of the playbill, I have no idea. It was charming and fluffy, exactly what the visual representation of the World According to Abba should be.
But no, they wanted something fresh and new, something Befitting A Film that Stars Meryl Streep. So test shots were done, a studio shoot held, and a designer handed all these photos and told to add in some water and a healthy dose of glamour blur (no word on if the lighting was Super Trouper beams). Actually, the water may be real, but the gradient fill and the bokeh kind of assault my eyes so I can't really tell.
But the water ain't my problem, and the glamour blur ain't either.
Look at that neck.
Here's what happened. The poster was done, and sent out for approval. But there was something in the air that night, and someone (the director? the producer? Fernando?) said, "Ew, her neck looks stumpy, can you elongate it?" And so the designer digitally s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d out her neck to make it look more beautiful. Except it came out looking grotesque, lumpy, and is that an adam's apple? And I imagine that the mottled coloring stems from a botched attempt to make the skin tones match up. Blecch.
In short: A Photoshop FAIL is when a designer takes a lovely girl and basically turns her into a monster from a Sam Raimi movie (no, not Kirsten Dunst. That isn't nice.)
In full disclosure: I loved the play Mamma Mia!. My in-laws took us to the national tour of it a few years back and we had a blast. I told a Theater Snob that one time I was met with a huff and a "Gawd, did you love Phantom too?" and then an eyeroll. I told her that I did, and that I also thought Johnny Depp was a fine Sweeney Todd. When she gasped in horror at my taste in musical theater, I smashed her over the head with a breakaway prop bottle and ran away. True story.
(OK, true except for the bottle part. It was actually a regular glass MD 20/20 bottle, not a breakaway.)