Muriel's Wedding

 
Unconventional comedy weds Aussie wit with mature themes.
  • Review Date: December 11, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1995
  • Running Time: 106 minutes

What parents need to know

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

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.

Violence

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

Sex

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

Language

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

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

All secondary characters smoke frequently. Lots of casual drinking.

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.

Parents say

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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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:March 10, 1995
DVD release date:May 18, 1999
Cast:Bill Hunter, Rachel Griffiths, Toni Collette
Director:P.J. Hogan
Studio:Miramax
Genre:Comedy
Run time:106 minutes
MPAA rating:R

This review of Muriel's Wedding was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byMissKarissimo June 25, 2012
age 13+
 

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 parts it would be too rude and innapropiate for them to watch. Parents, I would definetley recommend for you to watch it- it's funny and amazing, great for a Saturday night in or a rainy day :D
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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