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Muriel's Wedding (1995)

P. J. Hogan  |  R |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Directors: P. J. Hogan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: May 18, 1999
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0788814958
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,104 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Muriel's Wedding" on IMDb

Special Features

  • ABBA Music Video

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Ever since the late '70s when the Australian New Wave was in full surge, Down Under directors have delivered movies that often hit you like news from another planet. Offbeat characters, weird narrative twists, and a tart mixture of laughs and catastrophe--this is the juice that fuels such flicks as Proof, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Strictly Ballroom, Heavenly Creatures, and most certainly Muriel's Wedding. Directed by P.J. Hogan (who would go on to helm the Hollywood hit My Best Friend's Wedding), this little gem follows tradition by featuring an authentic misfit: Muriel (Toni Collette), a great overweight horse of a girl obsessed with getting married and the music of ABBA. Appropriately, we first meet Muriel at a wedding, all trussed up in a leopardskin number she's boosted for the occasion. When her snotty peers insist that she give up the bridal bouquet to someone who might actually get hitched, when one of the guests turns out to be a clerk in the very store where Muriel ripped off her outfit--you gotta laugh, she's such an unmitigated mess. A loser, her philandering politician father (Bill Hunter) calls her--along with his doormat wife and his other couch-potato offspring. But this movie's no exercise in geek-bashing. As Muriel takes up with feisty Rhonda (Rachel Griffiths) and moves from Porpoise Spit to the big city, her good-hearted grin and zest for life draw us in despite hilarious gaffes and mishaps. (Making out with a boy for the first time, Muriel suddenly finds herself awash in styrofoam: the oaf has unzipped the beanbag chair instead of her skin-tight leather pants.) Muriel's Wedding covers territory Hollywood would banish from a comedy--Rhonda's cancer, the suicide of Muriel's mother, a marriage of convenience to an arrogant athlete--yet, like its heroine, it never loses its sense of humor, its will to move on to whatever good thing might happen next. Everyone in the idiosyncratic cast is terrific, but it's Toni Collette's Dancing Queen who makes Muriel's Wedding a cinematic celebration you won't forget. --Kathleen Murphy

Product Description

Hysterically funny, fresh, and brimming with wit, MURIEL'S WEDDING is the comedy hit celebrated by critics nationwide! No one ever paid much attention to Muriel and her humdrum small-town life, so she and her best friend, Rhonda, decide to leave it behind and head for the big city ... where they end up having the exciting adventure of their lives! What's more, soon everyone takes notice when Muriel becomes engaged to a handsome and popular sports hero! You'll love every hilarious minute as Muriel discovers that even when it seems all her dreams are coming true, the path to the altar still has plenty of surprising twists!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You're Terrible Muriel".... June 1, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
But fortunately, this movie is far from! An impressive cast, wonderful story, and even more catchy soundtrack will leave you humming for weeks afterwards. Muriel's Wedding is a tour de force of wonderful filmmaking at its best.

Muriel's Wedding tells the tale of Muriel Heslop, an appropriate name for a girl without much of an identity. At the beginning of the movie, Muriel is a put upon girl with a bleak future and an even more bleak present. She attends the wedding of a "friend" of hers in a stolen dress, which sets up Muriel's life as a series of lies she tells to make herself into something. One lie begets another, and soon, Mariel is off to Syndey with new gal pal Rhonda. Muriel struggles to find herself amidst the lies she tells and the real life for which she yearns, thus the story. This film is most unpredictable, and full of wonderful nuanced surprises that totally make sense to the story.

Toni Collette deserves a standing ovation for her performance of Muriel. This was the first movie that I ever saw her in, and who knew the range of talent she possess. Just watch this movie, and then Sixth Sense, The Hours, and Connie and Carla, and see the range she covers. It should only be a matter of time before people realize her immense and total talent. Just watch Toni walking down the aisle as Muriel; her total, goofy joy is palpable... amazing stuff.

Also appearing is the wonderful and solid Rachel Griffiths as her friend Rhonda. Together, they turn in a tour de force performance to help hapless Muriel find herself.

Much must be said for director PJ Hogan's handling of this material. Given to a lesser director, the script may have gotten out of hand with its numerous twists and turns.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unconventional comedy May 28, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This is one of those comedies that will make you laugh hysterically and then shut the audience up with a sudden tragedy. The story follows Muriel (Collette), an overweight ugly duckling who is ridiculed by her friends and her father but finds solace in ABBA songs and best friend Griffiths. Moving from her home town of Porpoise Spit she begins to find a new life for herself.
Fortunately this rites-of-passage drama doesn't lay it on heavy with the sentimentality. This brings about a conclusion that's nothing short of depressing but still poignant. The comedy is wonderfully crass, especially from Muriel's friends from Porpoise Spit and the sheer gaudiness of the whole movie is beautifully carried by all concerned. When Muriel's bridesmaids waddle up the aisle to an ABBA song, or Collette and Griffiths jubilently belt out tunes at a karaoke bar, you'll be laughing.
Given this, it's rare to find such comedy that will bring you crashing down to earth with suicide, cancer and an unhappy arranged marriage. This is one of those movies that will never make you cry; it will make you sympathise with its characters. It's certainly a great gift of Hogan's that he manages to pull both genres off so well at the same time.
But this wouldn't be half as good if it wasn't for Collette and Griffiths' magnificently crazy, emotional performances. 'Muriel's Wedding' should also be cheered for the fact that it doesn't succumb to typical Hollywood glitz and glamour. Muriel remains overweight throughout the whole movie, there's no 'Pygmalion'-like twist, it's the person that changes and perhaps that's what the movie is about. Completely unmissable.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Muriel: A Woman After My Own Heart June 7, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Although I don't have a penchant for shoplifting, pathological lying or frankly caring what the OTHER girls think, I was hooked on Muriel Heslop, hook, line and sinker. She epitomizes so many of the issues that young girls who are growing up while also painfully growing OUT deal with, and yet, as other reviewers have commented, she puts the pretty, slim girls to total shame. They seem to have everything she wants: a trim figure, a handsome (but usually cheating) boyfriend or husband, an upper middle class living, etc., but they don't have the heart of our Muriel.
You will both laugh and wince when she is trying on bridal gowns with absolutely no fiance in the wings, calmly and convincingly telling the sales clerks of her wonderful, upcoming wedding, so full of sweet lies and whimsy that you have to feel for her. Not only does Muriel constantly step on her own feet, she has many mean spirited family members and so-called "chums" to remind her just how pitiful she is, something that especially hits home to this writer. There always seems to be plenty of people who want to call attention to your faults (especially if you happen to also be overweight and a "geek"), but Muriel has her come-uppance, even if it happens to be via an arranged wedding to a self absorbed athlete who wants nothing but a token. Only Muriel would pick an ABBA tune for her processional (the feel good "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do", one of my favorites) but this may be the only wedding she's going to have so let the girl have her fun.
This movie is considered a sleeper which is a shame. It should be viewed by all girls who ever were or are overweight and feel that true love only comes to the thin. Sometimes self love is sacrificed in the name of "give-me-somebody/anybody-to-marry" but, at least in Muriel's case, she realizes this in the nick of time. Give it a look and be ready to laugh as well as ponder.
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