Muriel’s Wedding

I got over to work, where most of the people talked to me about the Warriors. I walked over to Safeway to buy sandwiches and fruit. After watching “The Boxtrolls” at home, I went over to the library. I had the photos and the video from the Bodega trip. I went over to the office to listen to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times program from Sunday on KCSN. He played live tracks by The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Back at home, I watched the DVD of “Muriel’s Wedding.” The stars were Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths, and the setting was Australia. Muriel longs to get married, and she catches the bouquet at a wedding. Her group of friends boots her out of the group, leading me to wonder why they allowed her to hang around them in the first place. Muriel is a fan of ABBA, and songs like “Dancing Queen,” “Waterloo,” “Fernando,” “Mamma Mia,” and “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do” seem to guide her life. I think that a big flaw in the story is that Muriel steals money and lies, so that we lose some sympathy for her. For a while, this seems like an Australian version of “The 400 Blows.” Her friend is Rhonda, who helps her enjoy life. The two run away to Sydney, where Muriel works at a video rental store. Now that was an indication of the age of this movie. It looked like there was a relationship that was going to develop with Muriel and a customer, but then the story takes a turn that was like “Green Card.” It was amusing that Rhonda should find a job across the street, but hard to believe, like a few other things in the plot. For a movie that was a comedy, there was quite a bit of misery and pain and drama. We see one character go through major surgery, and one who dies. I kept thinking that Muriel could not disappear in a city today the way she does in this story. The happy ending isn’t quite so happy. When getting back at others is part of your dreams coming true, you have the kind of troubles that can’t be solved in a two-hour movie. The movie is rated R and so has something of an edge to it, although it’s nothing like the edge of something like “Spy.” One of the scenes made “Fernando” seem like such a sweet song that I almost listened to it afterwards. I thought back on all those Australian films of the 1970s and 1980s, like “Gregory’s Girl.” That was a period of time that I enjoyed quite a bit. “Muriel’s Wedding” got two thumbs up from Siskel and Ebert. It has a lot of spirit, but also several flaws. I didn’t give any sympathy to Muriel just because those girls were cruel to her. We also got into that weird marriage arrangement for the worst reasons. I wonder if Siskel and Ebert would change their opinions of this movie if they saw it again today. Who is P.J. Hogan? Since “Muriel’s Wedding,” he directed “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” and “Mental.” That means that I still don’t know much about him. Toni Collette is someone I’ll always remember for “Little Miss Sunshine.” Rachel Griffiths was someone from “Six Feet Under,” although that show has faded from my memory over the years. I heard on the news that the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. The A’s won in San Diego, with Stephen Vogt hitting a grand slam. I saw on this morning’s news that a balcony collapsed at Library Gardens near the Berkeley Public Library. The victims were visitors from Ireland. I had seen a few of them around town. The apartments were fairly new. You have to question whether the people there are paying expensive rent for shoddy apartments. I walked past the accident scene and saw a lot of news crews and the balcony. I went over to the office. One of the workers told me that he took his son to Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The tickets were costly, and the view from so high was terrible. I tried to concentrate on getting some of my paperwork done. My father says I’ll be receiving more money, and to expect to pay a lot in taxes. Some of the people who died on June 16 include George Reeves (1959), Brian Piccolo (1970), Nicholas Ray (1979), Mel Allen (1996), and Susan Tyrrell (2012). Today is a birthday for Laurie Metcalf (60) and Gino Vannelli (63). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 16, the ant movie “Them!” had its New York premiere in 1954. In 1965, Bob Dylan recorded “Like a Rolling Stone.” In 1970, “Two Mules for Sister Sara” was released. In 1980, “The Blues Brothers” had its premiere in Chicago.

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