For an Australian film to make any money overseas it must follow a formula.It must be quirky - very quirky. It should have a sprinkling of "aussie" phrases which mean nothing to locals but are drop dead amusing to foreigners. It must have breasts. It must be very low budget. It must be very very funny to make up for the fact that nobody will have heard of the cast. If possible, it should contain at least one character who is mentally challenged.
Muriel's Wedding fills all of the requirements for a successful aussie film.
Toni Collette plays Muriel - an average girl in a family of morons. Surrounded by vacuous friends and the kind of relatives that make you happy your mother didn't find her cousin Frank attractive, Muriel has only one thing on her mind... to get married.
What ensues is one girl's quest to get married no matter what. Hardly an example for young kiddies, but seriously, who gives a fuck. If your kids are taking life lessons from movies, they're probably planing a high school massacre in a Rambo t-shirt.
This film has been the launching pad for Toni Collette's acting career and it's easy to see why. She's extremely likeable, has great comedy timing and, though it's tough to see in this film as she had to put on a lot of pounds for the role, she's pretty damn fine looking. (Personal observation: She likes a tequila or three - if you ever meet her and want to throw the leg over, get her on the tequila. She's a fan, trust me.)
It's rare that a very Australian film can walk the fine line between being Australian enough for an overseas market to identify with it, but not being so cringingly "aussie" that local audiences feel sick watching it (EG: The Simpsons Vs Australia), but Muriel's Wedding does just that.It's a well made comedy, a not too fluffy romance and a feel-good flick. Overall, well worth a look.