I’m So Excited!

Directed by Pedro Almodóvar

In UK Cinemas May 3rd, 2013

I was so excited. And I just couldn’t hide it. Then Almodóvar lost control and I didn’t like it…

by Isla McMillan

Pedro Almodóvar’s last film, The Skin I Live In, blew me away. Like most of his films, the premise was outlandish, but this one twisted and turned into dark and unsettling territory. The result was bizarre, beguiling and utterly gripping. I didn’t want it to end.  So I was excited about I’m So Excited!, Almodóvar’s latest, for which he has turned to comedy. Well, I’m not so excited any more. The film is light. It’s bawdy. But it is not good.

In a delightful opening scene, regular Almodóvar collaborators Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas play against type in cameo roles as humble airport workers. I know what you’re thinking: Cruz is way too beautiful to be believable in that role. You would be right. But then we take off, aboard a flight to Mexico City with three camp-as-Christmas flight attendants, two pilots with amorphous sexuality and a bunch of kooky passengers.

As they face the prospect of a crash landing, each individual experiences a kind of epiphany. But the characters (caricatures, really) lack allure and their stories are drowned in a tiresome cocktail of raunchy gags, drink, drugs and musical interludes. It is just too much. Almodóvar’s high camp tendencies work really well when they are kept in check and do not overshadow character development or plot. This time, subtlety has been sacrificed.

By the time we reached the perilous climax of the film, I hoped the plane would go down and take the characters with it.

I’m So Excited! does have two things going for it: it looks gorgeous and it is mercifully short.



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