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 become a terrific double act.
This is an assured film that shifts rapidly through a surreal depiction of suburban life from pathos to comedy and back again. Merciless in its portrait of provincial society, it nevertheless retains huge affection for its misfit survivors.
Writer/director P.J. Hogan ensures there are plenty of unexpected twists in store before this quirky and enduring tale reaches its uplifting conclusion. Bill Hunter stars as patriarch and local powerbroker Bill Heslop.