Muriel Heslop (Toni Collette) listens to Abba songs, fantasises about weddings and dreams of escape from Porpoise Spit. She teams up with new best friend Rhonda Epinstalk (Rachel Griffiths), and the two make a terrific double act.
This is an assured film that shifts rapidly through a surreal depiction of suburban life to pathos to comedy and back again. Merciless in its portrait of provincial society, it nevertheless retains huge affection for its misfit survivors.
Writer-director PJ Hogan has some unexpected twists in store before this quirky and enduring tale reaches its uplifting conclusion.