Muriel's Wedding is a tragic comedy set in the town of Porpoise Spit, Australia. The movie is about Muriel (Toni Collette), an ugly-duckling character, and her one motivation in life---to get married. Her motivation arises from the fact that all of her friends from high-school, the ones she tries so hard to fit in with, are walking up the aisle. Muriel thinks she finally has her chance when the bouquet from one of her friend's wedding lands in her hands.
But life is a bit more complicated than that. Muriel does get to marry (after visiting every dress store in town trying out wedding dresses and having her pictures taken in them), but it is a marriage of convenience. The story takes a nasty turn when she slights her mother at the ceremony. I thought this was a particular sad moment, but it is then topped by the events that take place after a shoplifting accident and the eventual proclamation by Muriel's father, Bill (Bill Hunter), that he's leaving his wife.
The movie presents diverse characters: Muriel's slow-witted and slothful siblings and mother, her prestige-minded father, a local politician, who constantly puts his family down, her "friends" from high school representing the stereotype of sorority girls in this country, her friend Rhonda (Rachel Griffiths) who is almost normal compared to the rest of the cast, and Muriel herself, who drifts between fitting in with her friends and being true to herself. The set of characters together with the dark and comic incidents make this a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, forcing you to confront how you view other people.
The movie is well-backed by an ABBA soundtrack that fits the theme rather appropriately. Definitely not to be missed, especially if you like the Australian accent.