PJ Hogan's Muriel's Wedding. It's just I couldn't really decide when to celebrate it. I've always considered it a 1994 film -- see how it made my list of favorite 1994 films -- because it was released in Australia in September of 1994. But it didn't hit the US until the following March -- a limited release on the 10th and then a wider one on the 31st.
So when to celebrate? Seeing as how I didn't celebrate last September and the 10th of March has now come and gone, I guess we'll be celebrating on March 31st, you know, assuming I'm alive. But for today I will share with you a piece at Variety on the film (thx Mac), where they talked to several of the wonderful people who gifted us with the movie, including this choice bit about the film's origins from Hogan, something I've never heard him tell in this much detail before:
"Muriel was based on his own sister. “I was the oldest,” he noted. “My sister and I both had a fractious relationship with our dad. In fact, he was an absolutely bully, way worse than the bully in the movie.” Because he was the eldest, said Hogan, he got out of the town and away from his family. But his sister couldn’t escape.
“She wanted nothing more than to please him,” said Hogan. “She never could. Then I heard that she was a success, that she was selling cosmetics and making a lot of money. But three months later, I heard she disappeared, and no one knew where she was. What happened was that to impress our dad, she had taken a job with his mistress selling cosmetics and was stealing the money. She was bamboozling our mother, who was every easily bamboozled.” And she fled to Sydney. “Everybody was so angry at her, but I understand why she did it.
”Hogan told her, “’I have no career and I’ll probably never get to make a film in my life. But if I made a film, I want it to be about you. I think this story is incredible. So, I asked her permission years before I ever figured out a way to tell the story. She gave me permission on two conditions: the first was she would be the heroine in the story and the second was that I would not use her name.”