Like this summer’s My Best Friend’s Wedding, this movie looks and sounds like an easy romantic comedy. But also like MBFW, the story is much more complex and not nearly as easy. Muriel loves weddings and wedding dresses. She can hardly wait for her own. But Muriel is not too bright, she’s overweight, and she’s a little unstable emotionally from an unpleasant family life, making her an unlikely candidate for marriage.
Muriel leaves home, where she’s a spoiled child, for the big city (Sydney, Australia). Slowly, and with help from her friend Rhonda (Rachel Griffiths), Muriel grows up and realizes she needs to take control of her life. At the end, Muriel is not better off, but at least she realizes what she needs to do. The ending of the movie is the beginning, for adult Muriel. Toni Collette (who gained weight for the role) gives a wonderful performance as the complicated Muriel.