Muriel’s Wedding (1994)
“Are you Muriel Heslop?” ~ Rhonda
“No.” ~ Muriel
“Yes, you are!” ~ Rhonda
“Why?” ~ Muriel
“I dunno why, you just are.” ~ Rhonda
“I’m not alone, I’m with Muriel.” ~ Rhonda
Muriel’s Wedding is one of my favorite movies about friendship and change. It is a comfort film of mine, the kind I take out on a particularly blue day knowing it will immediately cheer me up. Even though there are very low moments in this film, there is so much hope in it, the kind that makes you feel less strange, less alone, and makes you want to grab your best friend and go sing Abba songs at some karaoke bar somewhere (I’ve done it, sang Waterloo even, with a few of my dearest friends, it is a blast).
I remember being surprised at this film when I first saw it in the theaters, as it was advertised as a comedy, as in a “laugh out loud” comedy. I remember the positioning of the ads and the by-lines printed in the paper, making it seem like a comedy of errors, slapstick kind of affair. Although there are moments of humor, it is definitely more of a dark comedy (a favorite comedy genre of mine), or possibly a dramedy (though I hardly hear that as film description, usually only television).
Muriel’s Wedding is in my list of films that show a real and honest look at friendship, the good and the bad of it, and the shifts and connections that occur in a real lifetime kind of best friend relationship. It reminds me a bit of an Australian take on a Wes Anderson film, told from a more female perspective.
The film stars two of my favorite female actors, Rachel Griffiths and Toni Collette, and has an Abba-loaded soundtrack, which, in all honesty, how could I not love?