“When I lived in Porpoise Spit, I used to sit in my room for hours and listen to ABBA songs. But since I’ve met you and moved to Sydney, I haven’t listened to one ABBA song. That’s because my life is as good as an ABBA song. It’s as good as Dancing Queen.” – Muriel Heslop, Muriel’s Wedding
Let’s take a moment and look back at the first smell the roses.
Watch your favourite film of all time.
Last Thursday, I was still on my 2-week Christmas break.
But I wanted a day off, a real day off – no laundry, no cooking, no stress, no toddler. You see what I mean.
Right after dropping off my son at the nanny’s at around 9, I went back to bed and turned my laptop on.
Made myself a cappuccino and grabbed a handful of Lindt chocolate balls to make the experience even better…
You’re terrible, Muriel
My ultimate favourite film is Muriel’s Wedding – and it’s been for years and years!
It’s an Australian comedy-drama film directed by P.J. Hogan, known for My Best Friend’s Wedding and Confessions of a Shopaholic.
The plot revolves around Muriel, a socially awkward 20-year old woman who desperately wants to get married.
Believe it or not, Muriel’s Wedding had a huge impact on the 8-year old little girl that I was.
I would beg my mom to rent the videotape every weekend so that I could once again watch this both funny and sad, but still hopeful chick flick.
Muriel Heslop, played by Australian queen Toni Collette, will always be one of my favourite fictional characters because, in her journey to self-discovery, she taught me life lessons that would live with me forever.
Listen to whatever music you want
One scene that makes me both angry and sad is when Muriel’s mean “girlfriends” reproach her her musical taste.
She is a huge ABBA fan and basically, she’s told she’s being an embarrassment to them because she is different and has weird musical tastes too.
She apologised, promised she would change and that made me so sad.
ABBA is part of who she is, her personality, and she should never deny that.
This confrontation speaks to me as I remember telling my literature teacher in high school that I was a big fan of The Doors and will always remember his reply: “OMG, who still listens to The Doors nowadays?” followed by many hahahas that just made me feel so embarrassed in the front of the class.
I have always listened to music from past decades and used to feel different because of it as well.
When my classmates were all about the latest radio hits, I would listen to songs from the 70’s and 80’s.
Don’t get me wrong, I did listen to the Spice Girls and Beyoncé but always had a fondness for oldies.
And ABBA was definitely part of it.
Their music holds such an important part in the film.
ABBA’s songs speak to Muriel, allowing her to escape from an abusive family and toxic friends.
But also allowing her to be herself and becoming an independent woman.
Dancing Queen, Waterloo, Fernando, Mamma Mia, and I Do I Do I Do I Do… it’s just a pure delight.
Muriel and Rhonda lip-synching Waterloo at the talent contest on Hibiscus Island is such an iconic scene, and definitely worth watching.
Don’t be ashamed of the music you listen to, or what you like watching. You know what, I just sang “Sugar Baby Love” by The Rubettes at the top of my lungs and absolutely loved it!
True friendship always wins
Basically, Muriel hangs out with a group of popular girls that bully her and just want to get rid of her.
She’s not “cool” enough to hang out with them and she doesn’t realise it until they humiliate her big time.
Honestly everybody who watches the film empathizes with Muriel and wants to give her a big hug, since these girls are so shallow and despicable, but then everything changes when Muriel meets Rhonda on a holiday.
Rhonda… oh Rhonda.
If I could pick one fictional character to be my BFF, that would definitely be her.
Rhonda appreciates Muriel for what she is and I love the bond they create.
Muriel went from thinking she couldn’t live without the Tanya gang to one of the most beautiful and true friendships.
Rhonda might be straightforward sometimes but she helps Muriel gain confidence in her journey to self-discovery. And she’s incredibly fun too.
Ugly ducklings transform into graceful swans
Muriel may be seen as an unattractive naive young woman at the beginning of the film, but as she gains confidence and grows independent, she blossoms and finally understands she can be valued for who she is.
It’s a long process before eventually realising it, but the ugly duckling from Porpoise Spit becomes a graceful swan.
Just believe in who you are – don’t change, just grow. Work on you and become the better version of yourself.
The first smell the roses of this year was wonderful – this movie hits home for me and watching it again really made me feel better.
It’s one of those films you can’t forget and never grow tired of. I highly recommend you put it on your To Be Watched list.
Did you stop and smell the roses last week?
Tell me about the life lessons you learnt from films.
Now, I’m beyond ready and excited to complete this week’s goal.
The next smell the roses is… care for a houseplant.