Who else but Pedro Almodóvar could take a standard disaster movie premise and turn it into a frothy, candy-colored comedy? But the merry Mexican maestro carries it off with delicious, subversive aplomb in his new film, I'm So Excited, which dares to ask the question: how would you choose to live your last hour of life?
In the Almodóvar universe, the answer involves cocktails, plenty of sex, and a disco beat.
There has always been a fine line between farce and melodrama, in Almodóvar's films, where reckless human passions intersect in unexpected, often ironic ways. But while Excited has one of his more dire set-ups—a commercial airliner bound from Spain to Mexico City experiences equipment failure as the flight crew searches for a place to make an emergency landing—this is a return to pure comedy for the filmmaker.
Sure, sex, drugs, murder, and betrayal figure in the entwining stories that make up the plot, but the mood is light, even boisterous throughout.
Chief Steward Jossera (Javier Cámara), and his First Class cabin crew (Raúl Arévalo and Carlos Areces) serve as both a bawdy Greek chorus of observers and the eye of the storm, a zany trio mixing vats of mescaline-laced mimosas and kibitzing as the other passengers' stories unfold.
Almodóvar selected his cast mostly from his stock company of recurring players, in what must have been a party for all involved. The fabulous Cecilia Roth makes her seventh appearance with the filmmaker (she was in his very first feature, back in 1980).
Cámara starred as the compassionate orderly in Almodóvar's brilliant Talk To Her.
The dialogue is fast and funny even as the situation deteriorates. In the comic centerpiece, the three stewards perform a perfectly choreographed lip-synch routine to the Pointer Sisters tune that gives the film its title—complete with aerial shots a la Busby Berkeley. (Read more)
|Raúl Arévalo, Carlos Areces and Javier Cámara are SO excited!|