It came out more than 20 years ago and is held to be an iconic Australian film, but I still hadn’t seen Muriel’s Wedding.
Well, until last weekend, that is.
I was totally prepared to make some allowances for effects the passage of time would have on the film.
What I wasn’t prepared for was how incredibly unappealing it was. It’s chock-full of ugly or unlikeable characters; it’s hard for me to come up with a film that features more.
That starts right at the top with Muriel – the supposed heroine of the film who comes across as a simpleton, who drains her parents’ bank account so she can selfishly take a holiday and who agrees to marry someone for money.
This is the character we’re supposed to like? Forget about it.
She forms a friendship with Rhonda, who is supposed to be an improvement over the bitchy trio she used to hang out with.
But Rhonda is totally self-absorbed, a person who takes advantage of others as long as it suits her needs.
She selfishly lashes out at Muriel for not staying and helping her when she ends up in a wheelchair. Later, she’s content to stay with her mum and hang out with that bitchy trio until Muriel comes along and gives her a better offer – and she kicks them all to the kerb in a matter of seconds.
Muriel’s father is supposed to be the real villain of the piece but I actually ended up having some sympathy for him because his kids really are totally useless.
And I found it off-putting that the film makes fun of his wife for most of the film until suddenly deciding we needed to feel sorry for her.
The only likeable character is Brice, the video store guy who asks Muriel on a date. And he ends up sitting in the church watching her marry a guy she barely knows.
It’s supposed to a comedy but I couldn’t find much that was funny.