Why did I choose this film? Three reasons. 1. She looks so happy and celebratory in both the English and the Spanish posters. 2. She's in her wedding dress and has great teeth. 3. It's Toni Collette!!!!! The latter should be more than enough reason for everybody! But really, the reason this film was chosen was because the 'Directionless' series are about films which have characters who didn't like the skin they're in; stuck in bad relationships, jobs or hometowns; didn't like where their lives were heading. It's a really fucked up reason to write about really but I do believe, in my 27 years of existence that I have been in the exact same situation at least 5 times now and most people have been there too. Some still are. Sad but true. But unlike most of us, these film characters' stories didn't stop with loneliness and discontentment. They chose to turn their lives around, pave their own way and refused to choose the life of unhappiness like what Kate Winslet's Sarah Pierce thinks about Madame Bovary in Little Children.
Now let's all see how Muriel got all her shit together and maybe we can get some tips from her.
The film begins at one of Muriel's friend's (you guessed it!) wedding. Muriel is first seen wearing a cheetah/leopard printed dress while giving all she has to catch that bouquet in the center of a horde of zombies (bachelorettes whose only satisfaction comes from getting married).
|This scene reminds me of the Mad Max Fury Road scene where everyone's thirsty. That or when we thought Glenn from TWD's dead.|
This scene got me thinking. Is catching a bouquet at a wedding similar to other life changing events like getting hit by a car or falling off from a building while taking a selfie? Will your entire life flash before your eyes while that bouquet is getting closer and closer? Will you envision your future? The only reason I thought about this is because of Toni Collette's face here. Some of you might think that her face does nothing but I think it poses a LOT of questions. She's probably thinking if she will get another chance at a brighter future if she fails to catch the bouquet. How long does she needs to wait for another bouquet to be thrown at her and other zombies? Will her future change immediately if she does catch that bouquet? Will she really catch the bouquet. The answer to the last two questions are yes and yes.
When Muriel does catch the bouquet, her friends immediately thinks that she does not deserve the bouquet and the other wonderful things that comes with it. Muriel accepts all of these, of course. She is used to these kinds of things being said to her since her father tells her and everyone in their family they are useless. Up until then, Muriel's biggest accomplishment was getting arrested for allegedly stealing a dress, being unemployed and seeing one of the bridesmaids cheat with the groom (Muriel keeps this to herself, for the time being).
Few days go later, her friends decided to tell her they did not want to be be friends with Muriel anymore because unlike them, Muriel is fat, not cool, does not know how to do her hair and is broke which is the best way to sum up a person you've known for years and you do not like anymore. Clearly, people like Muriel does not have a future! Why be friends with her type??? WHYY!!!! Muriel's not invited to join them on their getaway in Hibiscus Island. Because of all of these, Muriel cries.
|Please don't unfriend me.|
Because who doesn't cry when the only cool people you know and talks to you doesn't want anything to do with you anymore? Who doesn't cry when you have no one in a town called Porpoise Spit? Muriel doesn't care if there's people around who think she's a freak crying like a baby at a bar pleading her ex-friends not to unfriend her. Muriel genuinely likes her friends, she does not mind if they say hurtful things to her everyday.
When she's done crying, she gets a job selling beauty products courtesy of her father's mistress. That sounds promising! Muriel as an Avon lady! That's exciting to watch! Muriel doesn't think so. She cashes $12k and uses it to follow her ex-friends to Hibiscus Island. When her friends sees her there, they call her pathetic and other bad things and throws her drink at her face. Muriel does not cry. She's learned her lesson.
Later that evening, Muriel meets Rhonda (Rachel Griffiths) who's from her high school and Muriel lies and tells her she's about to get married to a Tim Simms and she's there enjoying her last days of being wild and single. Then they meet Muriel's ex friends and Rhonda tells them what Muriel wishes she can tell them. This is their first revenge. Their second is when they sing ABBA's Waterloo (what an awful song but it suited the scene it's ridiculous) while Muriel's ex friends (I refuse to name them!) watch in envy.
|Waterloo - Knowing my fate is to be with you.|
That musical number is pure happiness. If the movie ends there I'd be perfectly happy and satisfied and I trust that Muriel will be too now she's in Rhonda's company. Rhonda's fun, perky, doesn't care and doesn't judge but is still responsible enough and helps you even if you do not ask. Writing that last sentence, I realize I am very lucky I have 3 of those. How many do you have?
That was fun! But we all know, no matter how much fun we are having, it has to end at some point and we have to get back to our real lives and jobs. Muriel knows this too. The money ran out and she went back to Porpoise Spit and her sister welcomes her with her usual line 'You're terrible, Muriel' and her ever accepting mother refuses to believe that Muriel spent all their money on partying. Knowing her father will probably disown her, Muriel goes to Sydney and lives with Rhonda and gets a job at a video shop. Here we see Muriel looks different. Better. Not that she looked awful before. She just looks like nothing's worrying her now and she seems open for new people, new opportunities. It looks like she's starting a new life! She still watches wedding videos, of course. One cannot lose sight of one's goal. She also changes her name from Muriel to Mariel.
|When was the last time you had this kind of satisfaction?|
Mariel gets asked by a really charming boy out on a date and she says yes! They go out and turns out this boy's really crazy about her. Mariel loves her life up until this point but one day they find out that Rhonda's got cancer on her spine which causes her to spend her life on a chair and she now needs someone to help her everyday. Lucky her, she's got her bestfriend Mariel! Suddenly, Mariel's life is no longer directionless.
One day, Mariel sees a bridal shop and lies that her mother is in a coma and she is sad her mother might not see her in her wedding dress. The bridal shop lady was very nice and takes pictures of Mariel every time she comes by to try on a wedding dress which she puts in her wedding photo album which Rhonda sees.
Rhonda confronts her and Muriel admits she's living a lie and writing about this scene is not enough. We have to have gifs.
|I always wanted to get married. If I can get married, it means I've changed, I'm a new person.|
|I'm me! Muriel Heslop. Stupid, fat and useless. I hate her! I'm not going back to being her again.|
|Yep! You can find me in the classifieds.|
|I found a trophy husband!|
So she gets married and it became clear to her that her husband does not love her. She lost her last friend and she receives a call from her sister that her mother has passed away.
What a sad,