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Muriels Wedding is a tragic comedy set in the town of Porpoise Spit Australia The movie is about Muriel an ugly-duckling character and her one motivation in life to get married Her motivation arises from the fact that all of her friends from high school the ones she tries so hard to fit in with are walking down the aisle Marriage becomes a symbol of peer social and self-acceptance Muriels Wedding constructs and explores an opposition between the heroines desire for a wedding but not for marriage within a dysfunctional context It is difficult to restrict this text to one genre as it is a generic hybrid and the cultural specificity of the film has made it unlike any film that would result from the mainstream Hollywood variety What makes Muriel distinctly Australian is the nature of suburbia Muriel has been raised in a low to middle class family Her father aspires to a political career whilst her mother is emotionally abused by the father and siblings She is clearly suffering from depression and low self esteem which is evident right from the beginning of the film Muriels siblings are unemployed and show no desire for a better future and the father Bill reinforces his families low self esteem by constant negativity Muriels desire to get married is at some level her opportunity to escape this environment Throughout the film Muriel demonstrates avoidance behaviour Music plays a large part of this process and becomes a symbol of freedom from her environment She allies herself with a group of trendy and popular girls in an effort to disassociate from her lower class dysfunctional family Her motivation to improve herself and her circumstances become the main focus of the film She believes that if she is accepted by these girls as a peer her life will improve and she would have made it Her desire for a wedding represents both an escape from her
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