Muriel's wedding critical analysis

Essay by shaunliuUniversity, Bachelor's April 2002

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In Muriel's wedding, the perception of comedian has soon arrived into a melodrama

derived by P.J Hogan, as the film covers the low self-esteem Muriel in breaking

through the bondages around her family and friends, trespassing from suburban to


Muriel begins the film as an overweight loser from Queensland, a woman trapped by

a dysfunctional family, an apathetic neighbourhood, and a clique of beautiful "best

friends." The movie opens with a shot of a beautiful friend's wedding, where one of

the clique members is shown having an affair with the groom. The movie moves that

fast: credits, wedding, affair. Before the scandalous couple have time to emerge from

their private room the ugly misfit Muriel is taken into custody by the police.

Apparently, she never paid for her leopard-print dress. (3)

Hogan establishes his characters rather quickly. The evil clique is made up of Barbie

look-alikes who criticize Muriel for not wearing frosted lipstick.

Muriel is clumsy,

overweight and "useless," hopelessly ostracized from the inner circle by her

unemployment and consequent failure to follow fashion. "I've got a job," Muriel tells

them, referring to a cosmetics sales position offered by her father's mistress. "It's not

your clothes," the friends retort, it's you."

Crushed, Muriel steals money from her parents and buys a holiday at the same resort

where the clique is staying. Once there she meets up with a friend from high school

(Rachel Griffiths) whose noble character is symbolized by her short black hair and

indifference toward fashion.

The two women celebrate their independence from the neurosis of Porpoise Spit by

running away to Sydney, where they get jobs, meet men, and have the time of their

lives. "When I was living in Porpoise Spit I used to sit in my room all day and listen

to Abba...