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Site created 12/15/97.

review added: 5/28/99

Muriel's Wedding
1994 (1999) Miramax (Buena Vista)

review by Todd Doogan, special to The Digital Bits

Muriel's Wedding Film Ratings: A

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B+/B/D

Specs and Features

105 mins, R, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), single-sided, single-layered, Amaray keep case packaging, ABBA music video for Dancing Queen, film-themed menu screens, scene access (25 chapters), languages: English (DD 2.0), no subtitles, Close Captioned

Big girls may not cry, but they fall in love just as quickly as skinny ones. At least, that's the message behind Muriel's Wedding. Muriel's Wedding was the surprise comedy hit of 1994. No one was more surprised than me, at exactly how funny the film actually is. Up until the mid-90s, Australia was hardly the place one would find a good flick. Anyone remember Yahoo Serious? Anyway, this comedy is as Australian as a Koala Bear -- and it wallows in it. That's pretty much a good thing, by the way.

Muriel is a sad and lonely woman. She is a compulsive liar and when we first meet her, it seems that she may also be a klepto, as well. We first find Muriel at a wedding for a friend, and she has on one of the most awful dresses... ever. Turns out our little heroine stole it, and store security just happens to be at the wedding. The whole affair ends with the police arresting Muriel and taking her home to her father. Of course Muriel gets out of it, and retreats into her room, where she escapes into the music of ABBA. For her, ABBA is everything -- it's the secret of life. ABBA's music makes her happy, makes her forget the bad things -- it's a drug for her. Her father, fed up with her lounging, sets her up with a cosmetics job through a friend. He gives her a blank check to get supplies, and our lying, klepto Muriel runs off to a desert island with it. There, she meets a new friend, eventually "borrows" $12,000 from her folks, and starts a new life in Sydney. Of course, this is only the beginning of Muriel's adventures. There's comedic tragedy when her new friend falls ill, there are complications with her family, and inevitably there's Muriel's Wedding itself. How it all comes together is the comedy, and as pathetic as some of it is -- it's a really enduring and hilarious film.

Miramax has always given us great smaller films, and although smaller films sometimes make great movies, they don't always make a great DVD. Miramax is controlled by Disney, and Disney seems to hate DVD. So, sadly, you get nothing more than a bare bones DVD of Muriel's Wedding. For those just concerned with image quality, the disc looks fine. Muriel is all about color, and the colors are great. The transfer isn't perfect, but it looks good. The audio is in stereo, and sounds fine, although its nothing to get excited about. Aside from the video for ABBA's Dancing Queen -- that's it for the disc. Honestly, I'm surprised there was even that much. Disney really should start thinking about putting more on their discs -- even a trailer or some making-of stuff. Simply making their discs 16x9 would be a huge step up. It's a shame.

I enjoyed Muriel's Wedding. I like it more and more each time I see it -- and I'll take the DVD over the video any day. I just wish that Disney would start to consider DVD more than just another video format. Until then, I'm in my room listening to ABBA.

Todd Doogan
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