Muriel's Wedding ***1/2 (out of 5) (1994)

Cast: Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths, Bill Hunter, Sophie Lee, Rosalind Hammond

Directed by P.J. Hogan


Muriel's life in a small Australian town is dull and full of feelings of inadequacy, with nothing for her to do but listen to ABBA and hope one day she gets married to somebody...anybody! After stealing money from her parents, she takes a vacation and starts off changing her life around and doing what she's always wanted to do, including getting married. But she soon realizes that doing all the things she wants to do doesn't necessarily lead her on the road to happiness.

A pleasant film, with lots of original twists on the "ugly duckling" story, (and like most of those the duckling isn't really ugly, but oh well.) It's funny, sad, and endearingly acted by Collette as Muriel. P.J. Hogan continued this winning formula for MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING a few years later. The only downside is having to hear ABBA sing "Dancing Queen" several times during the duration of the film. Terrific light entertainment that makes you wish it didn't have to end.

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