Australian director P.J. Hogan's big-budget follow-up to MURIEL'S WEDDING recycles many of the same elements, including karaoke bars, vulgar dresses and mean-spirited satirical jabs at its main characters, trapped in the glare of unattractive fluorescent lighting. And as in
his first film, Hogan relies on pop kitsch to establish mood and ironic counterpoint, replacing the synthetic sounds of ABBA with Dionne Warwick warbling smooth ditties by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. As her 28th birthday approaches, perpetually noncommittal food critic Julianne (Julia Roberts)
is haunted by the deal she made with best-buddy Michael (Dermot Mulroney), who's always carried a tor...