Muriel's Wedding Movie Review

What is it with Australians and ABBA? First Priscilla, Queen of the Desert took ABBA worship to a new level. Now, Muriel's Wedding seeks to break that boundary with a nearly non-stop ABBA soundtrack. After nearly two hours of exposure, I'm realizing that they weren't too bad of a band.

Muriel's Wedding uses the songs of the Swedish supergroup as a clever link to the thoughts and feelings of Muriel, a young Australian woman obsessed with becoming married as soon as possible. Muriel (Toni Collette) lives with her go-nowhere family in the town of Porpoise Spit, where she spends most of her time in her room, listening to ABBA when her father isn't giving her grief.

With the rest of her family members constantly off in their own world, Muriel decides to take off on holiday with a little "borrowed" cash from her father in order to escape the routine of Porpoise Spit and make a new life for herself. She eventually settles in Sydney with her friend, Rhonda, where she can concentrate fully on her goal of marriage.

Muriel's Wedding is an entertaining film with a bit of an identity crisis: it doesn't know if it wants to be a comedy or a drama. The filmmakers perpetually toy with the viewers, dragging them from high comedy to melodramatic tragedy in a heartbeat, and more than once. This problem arises whenever the camera is not on Collette, who really owns this picture completely. Whenever the plastic supporting cast is the main focus, the film falls flat. A tacked-on, bittersweet ending doesn't help, either.

Don't be discouraged; Muriel's Wedding is still a solid and entertaining movie. Just understand what you're getting in to. There's lots of music, but this ain't no disco.


Muriel's Wedding Rating

" OK "

Rating: R, 1995


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