Hysterically funny, fresh, and brimming with wit, MURIEL'S WEDDING is the comedy hit celebrated by critics nationwide! No one ever paid much attention to Muriel and her humdrum small-town life, so she and her best friend, ... more »Rhonda, decide to leave it behind and head for the big city ... where they end up having the exciting adventure of their lives! What's more, soon everyone takes notice when Muriel becomes engaged to a handsome and popular sports hero! You'll love every hilarious minute as Muriel discovers that even when it seems all her dreams are coming true, the path to the altar still has plenty of surprising twists!« less
Michael C. (msc1208) from ROANOKE, VA Reviewed on 10/19/2013...
Some light spoilers, but I have tried to keep that minimal.
After reading the other member review here I feel I must respond. (Even though that review was from 2007) I must take up for Muriel! After reading the other member's opinion I can see exactly how and why that opinion was formed. Muriel did lie & steal. She abandoned her friend and married for completely selfish reasons. All true.
But she did all of these things because she was brought up in a home that did not teach her self-respect. there were no strong role models in the household and she was constantly belittled. (as were all of her siblings) she also got this mental abuse from her friends.
About her friends...I found that part of the storyline to be the most unrealistic, because in real life these types of girls would have never allowed Muriel or anyone like her to be a part of their "group". But its a movie and worked well for the story. Because of all of this constant emotional abuse I think she had the mental capacity of a child.
She had wants and needs just like everyone else does, but had no grasp on reality and could not function as a contributing member of society. so she created fantasy and went a little crazy. This is the sort of thing that happens all the time and no one wants to talk about it. Mental illness.
She was raised wanting to have "things" and to achieve a "status" just like the rest of the modern world is. We are all fed a fantasy on the way life should be and if our lives aren't like that fantasy some people can feel like failures. Failures for not being able to attain and sustain a meaningless, empty lifestyle of consumption, status and greed.
I feel the other reviewer missed the point. When she left David after her Mother's funeral she had come to the realization that her life was meaningless because it was based on lies. Another convenient plot device was David letting her keep the money. That would have never happened in real life either.
But she finally stuck up for herself and her siblings by confronting her Dad. The movie ended with Muriel starting to set things right. The whole point of the movie was that no matter how bad your circumstances may have become (because of your own actions) it's never too late to make things right. She took Rhonda back to Sidney and it was Rhonda, NOT Muriel that told off her friends. It may have been a bit immature but hey they deserved it. After all they were a bunch of c**********! and did I mention there were some really cool songs by a group called ABBA? You should check them out.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Lorraine S. (rainey) from WOODLAND HLS, CA Reviewed on 12/23/2007...
I have a visceral hate for this film, especially, since it's become an anthem for a generation based on a thoroughly self-centered woman whose "liberation" is based entirely on stealing, lying, abandoning a friend and entering into a sham marriage. There's nothing in the least admirable about Muriel and I found it astounding that people respond to her spineless, opportunistic character. It could have been another story altogether if she had achieved anything through effort or wit but validation from making the snotty, shallow girls she was rejected by at home jealous is a hollow victory indeed.
3 of 10 member(s) found this review helpful.
"You're Terrible Muriel"....
James Hiller | Beaverton, OR | 06/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"But fortunately, this movie is far from! An impressive cast, wonderful story, and even more catchy soundtrack will leave you humming for weeks afterwards. Muriel's Wedding is a tour de force of wonderful filmmaking at its best.
Muriel's Wedding tells the tale of Muriel Heslop, an appropriate name for a girl without much of an identity. At the beginning of the movie, Muriel is a put upon girl with a bleak future and an even more bleak present. She attends the wedding of a "friend" of hers in a stolen dress, which sets up Muriel's life as a series of lies she tells to make herself into something. One lie begets another, and soon, Mariel is off to Syndey with new gal pal Rhonda. Muriel struggles to find herself amidst the lies she tells and the real life for which she yearns, thus the story. This film is most unpredictable, and full of wonderful nuanced surprises that totally make sense to the story.
Toni Collette deserves a standing ovation for her performance of Muriel. This was the first movie that I ever saw her in, and who knew the range of talent she possess. Just watch this movie, and then Sixth Sense, The Hours, and Connie and Carla, and see the range she covers. It should only be a matter of time before people realize her immense and total talent. Just watch Toni walking down the aisle as Muriel; her total, goofy joy is palpable... amazing stuff.
Also appearing is the wonderful and solid Rachel Griffiths as her friend Rhonda. Together, they turn in a tour de force performance to help hapless Muriel find herself.
Much must be said for director PJ Hogan's handling of this material. Given to a lesser director, the script may have gotten out of hand with its numerous twists and turns. Hogan trusts his actors and the stories, and allows them to show through. Also, the film is visually brilliant. Muriel's lip sync of the ABBA song in itself is a scene right from another Australian import "Priscilla Queen of the Desert".
Not to mention the music. ABBA songs feature prominently throughout the movie, and actually allow for the story of the movie to progress wonderfully. It has been said that profits from Muriel's Wedding allowed for the creation of another ABBA delight, the musical "Mamma Mia". If that's true, what another wonderful gift from this movie.
It seemed in the 1990's, Australian performed a wonderful trifecta of movies that blew away American audiences: Muriel's Wedding, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and Strictly Ballroom. Muriel's Wedding may be the lesser known of the three, but it is equally as strong. If you want a funny, funny movie, with wonderful acting, and a dash of drama thrown in, plan to attend Muriel's Wedding soon!"
Charming Through and Through
W. Carol | 08/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Vaguely reminiscent of England's Sixties hit Georgy Girl, which starred Lynn Redgrave, this Australian gem tells the story of a walking disaster...Muriel, a big-boned girl with a penchant for wearing the most hideously unattractive clothes, and getting herself into one social embarrassment after another.Muriel has two obsessions: getting married (and this is an obsession like no other), and the music of ABBA. Sometimes the two things become entertwined in her good-hearted but truly baroque mind. In order to obtain her goal of being a bride, Muriel leaves her ordinary family in Porpoise Spit, and journeys to Sydney, where she takes up with wild woman Rachel, the type who goes to bed with two men at once, one black, one white. In this type of atmosphere, Muriel flourishes in a sense, but one has to see it to believe it.This film is so enchantingly delightful and offbeat that it manages to include spinal cancer, wheelchairs, suicide, and philandering as just part of the plot. And the wonder of it is, that the viewer accepts it all with a great big smile!This charming movie is one to watch again and again. It's a true delight."
Mr. B. G. Fowler | 05/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of those comedies that will make you laugh hysterically and then shut the audience up with a sudden tragedy. The story follows Muriel (Collette), an overweight ugly duckling who is ridiculed by her friends and her father but finds solace in ABBA songs and best friend Griffiths. Moving from her home town of Porpoise Spit she begins to find a new life for herself.Fortunately this rites-of-passage drama doesn't lay it on heavy with the sentimentality. This brings about a conclusion that's nothing short of depressing but still poignant. The comedy is wonderfully crass, especially from Muriel's friends from Porpoise Spit and the sheer gaudiness of the whole movie is beautifully carried by all concerned. When Muriel's bridesmaids waddle up the aisle to an ABBA song, or Collette and Griffiths jubilently belt out tunes at a karaoke bar, you'll be laughing.Given this, it's rare to find such comedy that will bring you crashing down to earth with suicide, cancer and an unhappy arranged marriage. This is one of those movies that will never make you cry; it will make you sympathise with its characters. It's certainly a great gift of Hogan's that he manages to pull both genres off so well at the same time.But this wouldn't be half as good if it wasn't for Collette and Griffiths' magnificently crazy, emotional performances. 'Muriel's Wedding' should also be cheered for the fact that it doesn't succumb to typical Hollywood glitz and glamour. Muriel remains overweight throughout the whole movie, there's no 'Pygmalion'-like twist, it's the person that changes and perhaps that's what the movie is about. Completely unmissable."
Dreams can come true if you're true to your self
Ian Muldoon | Coffs Harbour, NSW Australia | 10/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Our heroine Muriel, dumpy, suburban, open, guileless, trusting, who has a corrupt Dad, an oppressed Mum, two siblings who are variously lazy and stupid, falls in love with and marries her dream "man" - what else but a white, blue-eyed blonde South African born swimming champion who is the quintessence of selfishness, self aggrandisement, vanity, and shallowness - but finds "true" love in friendship with her crippled buddy played superbly by Rachel Griffith. Some stupendous and memorable moments, one being when Muriel's mother sets fire to her backyard with its Hills Hoist in its centre. Funny, touching, and great feel good movie. Peopled by some terrific characters. The ABBA scene is a gem! One to own and revisit."
How Movies Should Be Made
A. Spurlock | Las Vegas, NV USA | 03/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Want to see key differences between U.S. and international fimmaking? Rent or buy both this movie and My Best Friend's Wedding-they have the same director! Yet you will see the American one (MBFW) with shallow character development, and no risk taking on characters with flaws (notice how everyone has great high paying jobs?). The character of Muriel at the end of her movie and her process of "letting go" of her old life is much more poignant and yet realistic than Julia Robert's character "letting go" by "letting" her best friend marry someone else."