Quick recap: In this ‘comedy’ (more on that in a bit), Toni Collette plays Muriel, an overweight, socially awkward woman who still lives with her parents and does nothing for a living. She’s obsessed with weddings and also ABBA because why not?
Fun (?) fact: There’s a line in the film when Muriel is shopping for a wedding dress and the attendant asks when she is getting married. Muriel replies, ‘September’ and the attendant says, ‘spring!’. I’ve always known that Australia has opposite seasons than the US but still, that line made me think about all the many things that are weird about Australia. Australia is weird, you guys.
My thoughts: If I were ever kidnapped and tied up, I can think of no worse torture than forcing me to watch movie after movie with the ‘romantic comedy’ label. Thankfully, Moonstruck is the only movie I’ve had to watch with that label on this list so far, and it wasn’t that bad once I realized I would have Nicholas Cage for entertainment. After sitting through so many war movies recently, Muriel’s Wedding seemed like an appropriate change for a bit. And it was Australian, so that seemed a little classier than most romantic comedies. I thought it might be a nice change of pace to see my thought process as I watched the movie instead of just commenting on what I observed:
Title sequence: My prediction is that this is going to be a movie about an unattractive girl who has a make over and then falls in love and marries.
1:42: These beautiful women are all berating Muriel for catching the bouquet. I guess the director didn’t want to beat around the bush to let us know Muriel isn’t well liked. *pops open a beer*
4:49: Muriel is arrested and led out of the wedding party for stealing a dress. I mean, I know it’s wrong but she looks so sad and embarrassed.
9:58: Muriel’s family is at a restaurant,listening to their father mock them and call them all useless. I’m beginning to see that this isn’t a typical ‘ugly duckling’ story but instead one about a girl with serious problems.
13:32: Oh, good! Muriel has friends! These are the same girls who made fun of her at the wedding, but that’s what friends do sometimes. All in good fun!
16:41: Nope! They are kicking her out of the group for being weird, fat and ugly. And now Muriel is crying. Oh my god, this is awful. *finishes first beer, throws the can in a corner and cracks open a second. Starts chugging immediately.*
20:57: Oh, Muriel. I know it was harsh to be kicked out of a group but then to show up on their vacation is just asking for trouble.
21:15- They throw a drink in Muriel’s face. Why are you doing this to me, Muriel??? Stop it! *on 3rd beer now. This one won’t last long*
25:00– Muriel has found a friend! Oh, thank god. And this friend also likes ABBA and hates the girls. Things are looking up.
35:48: Muriel’s dad found out that she stole his money to fund the trip and she has now run away to Sydney. And she looks good! I’m ready for the comedy part.
42:04- Muriel brings a date back to the apartment she shares with Rhonda but freaks out when the boy starts taking her clothes off. I’m still going to count this as a success for Muriel.
46:29– After drunkenly falling down, Rhonda (Muriel’s only friend) is diagnosed with cancer. *Quickly finishes 3rd beer and grabs the vodka bottle*
54:20- Rhonda finds out Muriel has been trying on wedding dresses for fun because in her mind, she will have truly changed if she can find someone who loves her. Don’t do this to me , Muriel!
59:50- Rhonda’s cancer is back and she will never walk again!
1:01:53– In an effort to stay in Sydney, Muriel has answered an ad to marry a guy so that he can get on the Australian swim team. Dude is visibly grossed out by her.
1:08:27- They get married, but dude is still visibly grossed out. Muriel’s dad has divorced her mom. Mom shows up to wedding carrying a gift but isn’t noticed because of course not. She looks more sad than Muriel ever has.
1:19:23- Muriel’s mom tries on a pair of shoes because her current ones hurt her feet so much. She forgets to pay for them and is arrested.
1:21:17– Muriel’s dad yells at her mom and makes her feel awful.
1:22: 54- Muriel’s mom kills herself! *throws empty vodka bottle into corner with other beer cans*
End of movie: Muriel realizes she needs to start being honest with herself and breaks off the Not Marriage to the swimmer, but after having sex with him. Good job, Muriel.
Final review: 4/5. This was in no way a comedy. Most depressing movie ever? Maybe. Worth watching just for Toni Collette but don’t make me sit through it again without expecting some sort of alcohol poisoning.
Up next: Out of Africa