When I lived in Porpoise Spit, I used to sit in my room for hours and listen to ABBA songs. But since I've met you and moved to Sydney, I haven't listened to one Abba song. That's because my life is as good as an Abba song. It's as good as 'Dancing Queen'.Muriel's Wedding is an Australian comedy written and directed by P.J. Hogan (My Best Friend's Wedding, Confessions of a Shopaholic), starring Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense, United States Of Tara) as the title character. The film was released in Australia in 1994, where it received widespread critical acclaim before its theatrical release in the U.S. in 1995. The film is notable as being the first major international hit for its director, star, and costar Rachel Griffiths (Six Feet Under, Brothers and Sisters).Muriel Heslop (Toni Collette) is a socially inept young woman who lives in the small Australian resort town of Porpoise Spit with her shut-in siblings, mentally unstable mother and emotionally abusive father (city councilman Bill Heslop, played by veteran actor Bill Hunter.) Unemployed and recently ostracized from her group of stuck-up friends, Muriel has begun to feel trapped in her life as a "nobody" and unable to fulfill her life-long dream of having the perfect wedding. Muriel jumps at the chance to impress her friends by following them to a tropical resort — a vacation that has been financed by Muriel stealing several thousand dollars from her father's bank account.At the resort Muriel is further derided and rejected by her former friends, however her trip ends on a positive note after she meets Rhonda (Rachel Griffiths), a wild former classmate from Porpoise Spit. In an effort to impress Rhonda, Muriel tells her that she is engaged, and at the resort to have one last fling. Not eager to return home and face her father, Muriel impulsively chooses to move to Sydney, where she becomes room-mates with Rhonda. Deciding to completely re-invent herself (even to the point of changing her name to 'Mariel'), Muriel gets a job at a video-store and begins to pursue her dreams. Soon, however, her lies and her past begin to catch up with her, and Muriel is forced to face the person she truly is in order to grow into the person she wishes to become.Muriel's Wedding is a charmingly funny look at the life of a young woman with low sense of self-worth, and the trials and tribulations she faces on her journey of personal growth. While a comedy at heart, the film does not shy away from a frank portrayal of serious family and emotional issues. The film, its director, and its actors have received numerous awards and nominations, both in Australia and internationally.
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