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Muriel's Wedding (1994)

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I didn't see a post for this awesome movie. This one is a true gem,must see, especially if you're an ABBA fan.  Can't wait to see if Lionsgate or someone else brings us a Region One Blu Ray of this movie.  I heard a while back about the musical based on Muriel's Wedding.

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I remember this movie being very good, and Toni Colette was excellent. 

But it was marketed as a comedy, and I found it very sad and touching. More of a drama with comedic elements. 

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+1000, Toni Collette was perfect for her role.  This movie was one of those rare ones that take you on a emotional rollercoaster with the laughs, the tears and standing up and cheering, plus the amazing music of ABBA. 

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In Australia this was released the same year as Priscilla. In my mind, it was always a contest between the two while they were in cinemas, just cause they were both Australian comedies killing it at the box office. I preferred Priscilla and found it funnier BUT I am grateful that this movie reminded Australia how awesome ABBA was. When I watched Muriel for the first time I didn't find it as hilarious as Priscilla but given the years I now appreciate this movie as much as Priscilla and I wish Australian cinema would return to this level of comedy and film.

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23 hours ago, topanga said:

I remember this movie being very good, and Toni Colette was excellent. 

Me too, but I'll have to watch it again someday, because that's all I remember - I cannot remember a single scene, line, or other detail, just that I really enjoyed it and was thoroughly impressed with Colette.

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I thought this was a really brave movie. Muriel just basically comes out and says it, marriage is just a big game that people use to "win". And she wanted to "win" but winning wasn't really worth it.  You can see a little of that edge in PJ Hogan's Hollywood movie, my best friends wedding. 

It was also brave to portray someone who was just fine but didn't have a big dating background or wasn't attracting the guys like crazy. 

Also I thought it was brave to portray Muriel's mom as killing herself just because she seemingly thought everyone else would be better off with out her. I saw this movie the first time when I was living away from my mom and I remember really thinking of it when I returned to visit. 

Finally, should I feel bad at any time about my life I am grateful I don't live in a town called Porpoise Spit. 

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From 2015 EW.com:
It’s a Muriel’s Wedding reunion for Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths

ew-muriels-wedding.jpg&w=400&c=sc&poi=fa

Also from EW:

How ABBA (and that ‘Waterloo’ scene) made it into 'Muriel’s Wedding'

Excerpt:

Quote

Collette and Griffiths rehearsed the “Waterloo” dance sequence for weeks and shot it in ten hours, but they still managed to find moments of improvisation. One in particular stands out to both Griffiths and Hogan. “My greatest work in Muriel’s Wedding is when I stand in front of Toni and she moves my hair to find the camera,” jokes Griffiths. Hogan explains, “We hadn’t rehearsed with wigs on, and Toni realized that Rachel’s big curly Frida wig was completely blocking her face, so Toni reaches over, moves the hair, and stares straight into the camera. That just made me laugh out loud on set, and that’s in the film. That happened in the moment, and I’m just thankful Rachel didn’t break up when it was happening.”

Edited by VCRTracking
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3 hours ago, Bastet said:

Me too, but I'll have to watch it again someday, because that's all I remember - I cannot remember a single scene, line, or other detail, just that I really enjoyed it and was thoroughly impressed with Colette.

For me, both Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths were revelations - I'd never heard of either of them before seeing Muriel's Wedding, but I've been a big fan of both ever since.

The scene that has stuck with me was the Waterloo scene, and the lead-up scene with mean girl Tanya and her crew. It taught me a very valuable life lesson - the best way to handle mean girls is to turn them against each other so that they are no longer focused on you.

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16 hours ago, Armchair Critic said:

"You're terrible Muriel"

And this is almost all that I remember from the film!  My friend and I used to say it to each other pretty much daily🤣

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23 hours ago, Armchair Critic said:

"You're terrible Muriel"

6 hours ago, Duke2801 said:

And this is almost all that I remember from the film!  My friend and I used to say it to each other pretty much daily🤣

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I've only seen this movie once back in the day but I really liked it. I was more into Priscilla which I own and have watched multiple times. I need to track this one down and watch it again. I love Toni Collette in anything. I did hate Hereditary but Toni gave an amazing performance. 

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This is one of my favorite movies, and a real standout for a coming of age film.  It's funny, challenging, and has a lot of heart.  

The scene when Muriel hooks up with Bryce is one of my favorites.  So endearingly awkward by both of them.  And when the American sailors showed up, it was hysterical.  

During the famous ABBA scene, I think the actresses playing Tania and Nicole were actually laughing while they were fighting.  At least near the end.  The scene was so funny I'm sure there was a lot of breaking character during filming.

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But it was marketed as a comedy, and I found it very sad and touching. More of a drama with comedic elements. 

Yes.  I went in expecting a comedy and I left the theater feeling quite depressed.  Don't remember the specifics of the film, but I do remember that.

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Like some of you, this is a movie that I remember reacting to in a very divided way at the time. I saw it in my 20s, I was very much a "Muriel," and I loved the way it provided us with this nuanced, bittersweet portrait of Muriel, whose entire view of herself was that she was an ugly, fat loser -- when of course, she was anything but. And that once she allowed herself to stop caring so much about what others thought of her, she did blossom and we got to see her become beautiful just as she was (and, my favorite part, without losing lots of weight or something). All she really needed was a friend like Rhonda -- one who (best of all) loved ABBA almost as much as she did.

At the time, I was upset by the more serious subplots of Muriel's theft and especially of her mother's suicide. I was very upset by the latter, and felt it jarred the film's tone. I left loving parts of the movie, but feeling sad and confused by the sudden plot developments like her mother's death.

A few decades later, and I don't feel that way anymore -- in fact, I feel those moments are essential to creating a more successful, complex work (PJ Hogan is a genius). Muriel's the product of her parents, and the incredibly sad result is that, in the beginning, she loathes herself, is desperate for attention (like her mother), and only frees herself with an act of huge selfishness (mirroring her father).

Today, I think the movie holds up beautifully, and that all those shades of light and dark create a necessary balance. Muriel starts out a pathetically desperate follower, so needy that she accepts abuse as something deserved, sells herself for a fake and hollow marriage, sacrifices the best friendship of her life -- and humiliates her own mother -- just to feel accepted and beloved by people who don't even know her (or, worse, by her former abusers).

Her mother's suicide is a cautionary tale, a reminder to Muriel that self-hatred is just another kind of abuse, to the point that her mother burning the yard before killing herself was a kind of awful, sad little victory. She had simply had enough.

Her mother's death also causes Muriel's hollow swimmer-prince husband to see her as a human being, and I love the way his empathy for her loss leads them to a momentary connection in sex -- but that the sex doesn't really change anything. Muriel is already changed enough and self-aware enough to know she is leaving the marriage (I love that he regrets that, in a kind, funny way). She got everything she wanted and there was nothing there.

So the darker stuff works for me now, years later, and enriches the movie. Muriel accepts herself, and (almost miraculously) even her own family. All because of her friendship and acceptance from Rhonda -- a friendship she is finally able to return with total honesty in the final minutes of the movie. The scene where she rescues Rhonda and they deliriously pile into the taxi together and leave, screaming "Goodbye Porpoise Spit!" with so much joy as "Dancing Queen" plays is one of my favorite movie moments ever.

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