Muriel's Wedding

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2 1/2

In Porpoise Spit, Australia, there are two requirements for a girl to succeed in life; be beautiful and be married. When Muriel (Toni Collette) catches a wedding bouquet, the "in" girls tell her to throw it again because she'll never be a bride. Muriel's pretentious politician dad also constantly reminds her that she is "nothing." Consequently, Muriel's self-concept is terrible, but she is sure that marriage will make her into the person she wants to be. When she meets up with a free-spirited, amoral childhood acquaintance (Rachel Griffiths), the two young women go to Sydney to have a fling. Muriel has no money but she tricks her father into giving her a blank check, pretending she is going to sell cosmetics. The marriage-obsessed girl answers an ad for a prospective husband. She has the wedding of her dreams and thinks that will make her life complete. Meanwhile, her friend develops a crippling disease, leaving her helpless, and her own family falls apart when Muriel's mother dies. A rather satirical comedy turns more serious as Muriel discovers there is more to life than getting married.

It is not so much the amount of crudity and vulgarity in this movie, but the degree. When it is vulgar it is "very" vulgar. Muriel's friend, although otherwise a sympathetic character, is particularly foul-mouthed. She also reveals her promiscuity when she picks up two sailors at a disco and has sex with them while Muriel and her date try to drink tea in the next room. This is embarrassing for the audience, but apparently not for Muriel, whose date then makes fumbling advances, to her delight. Their clumsy maneuvers break some furniture, and the naked sailors come bounding out of the other room to save Muriel. At a friend's wedding, the groom is caught having sex with one of the bridesmaids. Needless to say, this leads to the bride and bridesmaid engaging in a hair-pulling, scratching fight. The only other violent scene is when Muriel's brother hits his mother during an argument. Muriel's metamorphosis from idolizing shallowness to finding her own worth is a nice enough story. Unfortunately, many of the light touches in MURIEL'S WEDDING are too crude to be funny.

Preview Reviewer: Margaret Reid
Miramax Films, 18 E. 48th St., NY, NY 10017

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (6) times - Mild 1, Moderate 5

Obscene Language: Several (8) times (f-word 4; other 4)

Profanity: Regular 1

Violence: Twice - Moderate (two girls fight; boy hits mother)

Sex: Once (groom with bridesmaid, no nudity); implied once (girl with two sailors)

Nudity: Once (full male rear nudity); Near nudity: low cut, revealing dresses few times

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (references to unconventional sex; groping, petting; crude terms for sex, genitals)

Drugs: Drinking and smoking

Other: Lying; father has extramarital affair; mother's death a suicide

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Older teenagers, adults

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