Thursday, April 21, 2016

884. Muriel's Wedding

Muriel's Wedding
Directed by P.J. Hogan

Previously, I have complained about how obnoxious and overplayed ABBA songs are.   As a sort of cosmic revenge, the Book decided to include another movie with a plethora of ABBA tracks.  With the exception of "Dancing Queen" I think I am warming up to them.  Either that or I am being brainwashed.

Muriel is a socially awkward ABBA fan who dreams of having a fabulous wedding and moving away from her emotionally abusive family.  Her "friends" exclude her from a vacation to Hibiscus Island.  Feeling left out and hopeless, Muriel steals some money from her parents and follows her friends.  I am hardly smooth in my social interactions, but even I know that is creepy.  After Muriel endures the inevitable and humiliating "leave me alone" speech from her friends turned prey, she runs into an old classmate, Rhonda, who is also an outcast.  With Rhonda's help, Muriel begins turning her life around.

It was hard to summarize this movie.  Going into it, I thought it would be a rather simple makeover plot.  However, this film is packed with subplots, making the story a lot darker and richer than I originally imagined.  I am not sure how necessary some of the subplots were, but they certainly made the movie more memorable.

Anyway, Toni Collette is always phenomenal and the soundtrack features Blondie.  Totally worth a watch.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Toni Collette gained 40 pounds in seven weeks for the role.


  1. What is it with Australians and 'beep' Abba?
    And another film I felt I should hate, but ended up really liking . I think, as you say, all those rather dark but effective sub-plots, that raise it from being more tacky slush. Good one, glad to agree with on this.

  2. First time I watched this I did not like it primarily due to the characters, particularly Muriel herself, except for the music. All that ABBA was just wonderful. Later when I watched it again it had a much better impact on me. I suppose it was the subplots or the transformation she goes through. Anyway, I am going to Australia next month and this is one of the movies I am considering as a warm-up.

  3. Thanks Ray! They are kind of obsessed with this band. That's awesome that you are going to Australia, TSorensen. I'm jealous!