Muriel Heslop is a lonely girl growing up in the small town of Porpoise Spit, Australia. Her obsession with the band Abba, strange clothes, and visions of marriage isolate her from her family and peers. After being taunted for her eccentricities and weight, Muriel decides to remake herself into a fabulous new person.
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Soon Muriel meets a new friend who encourages her to change her life and move to the Sydney. At first, Muriel's definition of success is to find a husband and get married. As her life progresses, her perceptions of what it means to be successful changes. Through much trial and error Muriel comes to terms with who she is what it really means to be accepted, but most of all accept herself.
The review of this Movie prepared by Elizabeth
Life at Porpoise Spit High was a miserable experience for overweight and shy Muriel Heslop (Toni Collette) and young adulthood in Porpoise Spit is proving to be no better. Though she is unemployed and still lives at home, Muriel now associates with the popular crowd … the same vile girls who shunned her in high school. The only joy in Muriel's downtrodden life is her adoration of the musical group ABBA and her obsession with bridal magazines. When Muriel spies Chalk, the groom, and bridesmaid Cheryl (Rosalind Hammond) making love in the laundry room on her friend Tania's (Sophie Lee) wedding day, Muriel is flabbergasted. When the police arrest Muriel for shoplifting the very dress she is wearing moments later, Muriel is positively mortified. Her humiliation is complete a few evenings later when the girls cruelly ask her to leave their trendy, close-knit group, stating any further involvement with the embarrassing Muriel will jeopardize their social lives. Now that Tania has proof that Chalk has been unfaithful, she plans on going on her Hibiscus Island honeymoon with her friends sans Muriel. By lying to and stealing from her parents (Bill Hunter and Jeanie Drynan), Muriel goes to Hibiscus Island as well. Tania and friends experience extreme outrage by Muriel's unwelcome presence, but help arrives in the form of chain-smoking Rhonda Epinstalk (Rachel Griffiths), an ex-classmate who also happens to be vacationing solo on the island. After Muriel mixes truth with fiction to Rhonda, Rhonda tells the girls off and the unlikely duo wow the crowd with an ABBA lip synch performance during an island-sponsored contest. To escape confrontation on the home front, Muriel moves to Sydney to live with Rhonda and to start her new life. Muriel's new life includes a new name (Mariel), a new job, a haircut, Brice (Matt Day), an interested young man and a new mission: to get married at any cost. Her bride obsession has taken on a new form as well. Instead of dreamily leafing through bridal magazines, Mariel is now boldly entering boutiques and trying on wedding dresses, telling sob stories so sales women will photograph her in the exquisite gowns. When Mariel excitedly agrees to marry handsome young swimmer Peter Von Arckle (Daniel Lapaine) so he can remain the country, Rhonda, now riddled with cancer, becomes concerned for her deluded friend.
The review of this Movie prepared by Tara Dugan
Muriel Heslop is fed up with being unpopular and unhappy and thinks that if she gets married, her life will be perfect. Along the way she steals money from her parents and strikes up a great friendship.
The review of this Movie prepared by Megan Westley