Muriel's Wedding

Movie review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Muriel's Wedding Movie Poster Image
Unconventional comedy weds Aussie wit with mature themes.
  • R
  • 1995
  • 106 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The implied message is that no one is worthless, fake friends are a waste of time, and that just because you say something is true doesn't mean it is. Finding out what's truly meaningful is more important than living up to any imposed standard.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Muriel is an anti-role model in many ways. She does everything wrong -- she lies, steals, seeks approval from shallow people, is a follower instead of a leader -- but through her experiences, viewers see the pain these things bring her. And when she breaks free from these things, they triumph with her.


One brief slapping fight between rival young women. Some physical aggressiveness between men. A suicide (not shown).


Several non-graphic sexual scenes (except for the sound effects) and plenty of graphic discussion about sex. Adultery.


Everything from "f--k" to "asshole," including sexual language.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

All secondary characters smoke frequently. Lots of casual drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the main character in this offbeat comedy is seriously misguided and makes really bad choices that hurt her family, though she ultimately reforms. Teens who feel like outcasts will identify with Muriel and some of the choices she makes, and the movie provides an opportunity to talk to teens about some urges they might have to change their lives. Several tragic events occur in the film, including a suicide, though nothing is graphically portrayed. Main characters smoke throughout the film, and several scenes of casual drinking occur. A few sexual scenes pop up, but only the sound effects are graphic, and there's no nudity.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBelle H July 15, 2019

Quirky adult fun, with a dash of drama, too.

Muriel Heslop (Toni Collette, in her first-ever movie role) is a dumpy 22-year-old Queenslander, whose dreams of becoming successful in life -- no matter the me... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byMissKarissimo June 25, 2012

Read. It's the truth.

I think it is a really good film- for teenagers. I would definetley not recommend it for children under the age of 13 as they would not understand it and at par... Continue reading

What's the story?

Muriel is a small-town Australian girl with low self esteem. She's awkward, chubby, and has an almost childlike approach to the world. But without a true sense of herself, Muriel finds herself hanging out with people who treat her badly. When Muriel meets Rhoda (Rachel Griffiths), an old classmate, on a clandestine vacation, they take off to Sydney to make their way in the world. Though Muriel still lives through Rhoda -- going to clubs and flirting with guys -- she makes progress toward becoming her own person. After Rhoda gets sick, Muriel finds a way to live out her dream of a fairy tale wedding, even though the guy is only in it for the immigration benefits. When her family situation turns tragic, she's shaken out of her fantasy world and becomes determined to stop lying to herself and others.

Is it any good?

Like so many Australian films, MURIEL'S WEDDING takes an unconventional approach to filmmaking -- both in its characters and its narratives. Muriel is flawed in so many ways and makes terrible choices throughout the film. As one awful friend tells her, "You have no dignity, Muriel." But despite the droopy mouth and terrible fashion choices, viewers see Muriel's unquenchable passion for life, her romantic dreams, her gutsy attempts to be someone special. This film is a poignant and still hilarious examination of how young people, especially girls, navigate the minefields of family, friends, media, and their own dreams.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about feelings of worthlessness or low self-esteem. What was Muriel's wedding obsession all about? Why did she invite those girls to be her bridesmaids?

  • What kinds of messages did Muriel receive from her family about her self worth? What does she realize in the end?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love quirky characters

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