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