30 Day Film Challenge: Day 18

Your Favorite Comedy Film

You’re terrible, Muriel.”

Australian film Muriel’s Wedding has somewhat of a cult following. It stars Toni Collette as Muriel, an overweight, awkward woman who loves ABBA, has terrible friends, and is mistreated by her politician father (Bill Hunter). She dreams of having a huge wedding one day and leaving her hometown, Porpoise Spit, behind. She reconnects with her old friend Rhonda (Rachel Griffiths) and the two set off for Sydney.

This is a hilarious comedy, probably my favorite from the 90s. It is wonderful to see Collette and Griffiths, two Australian actresses who have found a niche in American television, in one their early roles. If nothing else, you’ll gain a new appreciation for ABBA.

More information on the 30 Day Film Challenge here.

Premiering Tonight: United States of Tara

United States of Tara premieres tonight at 10 on Showtime. I caught the first episode online a few days ago and it is a pretty incredible show. Created by Steven Spielberg and developed by Diablo Cody, the show follows a seemingly typical suburban housewife that Tara (played by Toni Collette)suffers from dissociative identity disorder. After deciding to take a break from her medication, her three alternate personalities emerge causing interesting scenarios and some problems for her husband Max (John Corbett), teenage daughter Kate (Brie Larson), son Marshall (Keir Gilchrist) and her skeptical sister Charmaine (Rosemarie DeWitt).

Toni Collette is awesome as Tara. Would you expect anything less? And the supporting cast is equally impressive – my favorite character (aside from Tara) is Marshall, whose sexuality isn’t a punchline and is instead a source of good humor. I’m interested to see how the next 12 episodes pan out. The pilot was written by Diablo Cody. While at some moments I felt as though I watching Juno again, United States of Tara is like the grown up version of Juno. Its humor is less forced and the plot is more acceptable.

Here is the trailer:

The pilot episode is still available online so you should check it out sometime.

Review: Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

If Snakes on a Plane does not appeal to your weekend movie appetite, then perhaps you should consider a different sort of film for you viewing pleasure.

Little Miss Sunshine is the story of an Albuquerque family that travels in a VW bus in order to help young Olive compete in the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant.

An adorable Abigail Breslin (it’s the oversized glasses and armbands) shines as 10-year-old Olive, who is shockingly different from her fellow pageant contestants. Along for the ride is Olive’s dysfunctional family. Richard (Greg Kinnear),the overbearing father; Sheryl (Toni Collette) the overwhelmed mother; Uncle Frank (Steve Carell), a suicidal, gay, Proust scholar; the foul-mouthed, drug addicted Grandpa (played by Alan Arkin) and Dwayne (Paul Dano), Olive’s older brother who has taken a vow of silence.

Clearly, they have their problems. But during their eventful road trip the family discovers that they need each other more than they thought.

Little Miss Sunshine is a superb black comedy that is simply brilliant especially when outrageous humor is needed (i.e. the pageant scene). It is a touching, endearing, hysterical, dark, and special film that should be remembered (at least mentioned a lot) during award season and it is one that should not be missed.

Updated October 11, 2010