Someone asked me the other day, who are your favourite actresses? Last week’s protagonist Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine is one and the Swedish blonde lass with sunglasses who heads this blog – Bibi Andersson in one of the all – time greatest films – Persona (1966) is another. The third actress I adore is Toni Collette who came to fame in today’s featured film – Muriel’s Wedding. Most cine-goers will know of Toni in The Sixth Sense (Bruce Willis), About a Boy (Hugh Grant) & Hereditary where she killed it.
‘Like an Angel‘ scene from The Sixth Sense.
I have a penchant for Australian movies and actresses. So when Toni’s breakout movie Muriel’s Wedding came out in my homeland and was adored by all and sundry, then we we were all wondering where would Toni go from here? Well stardom, that’s where folks!
Muriel’s Wedding like the recent small-budget Australian movie featured here – The Castle captured homegrown Australian audiences like few others. After Muriel, ABBA music became celestial especially in Australia. It and Elton John’s music were on many family’s shelves.
Muriel finds life in Porpoise Spit, Australia dull and spends her days alone in her room listening to ABBA and dreaming of her wedding day. A slight problem is she never had a date. Then she steals some money to go on a tropical vacation, meets a wacky friend, changes her name to Mariel, and turns her world upside down.
I like how it’s described on critical consensus -‘An Awkward Comedy‘. But this movie is much meatier than it appears to be. There is some life-growing substance to it and often it makes you question what kind of movie you are watching. Apart from the natural performances I really like the storyline – how a girl gets from living in her family house with her ABBA posters to living her dream although she connivingly concocts it.
The director P.J. Hogan based Muriel’s personality on himself, but Muriel’s actions were inspired by his sister, who embezzled $15,000 from their father and then disappeared to Sydney to live with a friend.
Below is one of the iconic scenes from the movie:
I love this film!
I haven’t seen it in years, but I have very fond memories of it. How did you come across it Sarah?
I watched it when I was in high school during a phase when I was really into ABBA. I think I stumbled onto it at my local video rental store, which I guess is kind of surprising. I watched it many, many times.
Who doesn’t have those ABBA phases!? You were in high-school 1994? I think I watched it on TV for the first time, but I can’t be sure. It took a while for it to grow on me and the Muriel character to feel redeemable. It’s now a bit of cult-classic.
Yep. Class of 96. I was ahead of my time. 😊
I LOVE “Muriel’s Wedding”! Have probably seen it 9-10 times, most recently a month ago.
It’s a goodie and so unusual. What do you like about it? Thanks so much for commenting. What’s your name? I’m Matt.
I love the interesting & quirky characters, the contrast between absolute hilarity with some very sad and poignant scenes, and of course, the many ABBA songs sprinkled throughout. Nice to meet you Matt. I’m Jeff.
Jeff, it’s a pleasure total. I couldn’t agree more about the contrasts you described so well. I look forward to having many more conversations like this and seeing what music you write about. Cheers.