A typically sprawling piece from Almodovar that revolves around a make-up artist, Kika who falls in love with a famous writer's step-son. The film then concentrates on the things that stand between their happiness, such as Kika's affair with the writer and the death of her new lover's mother.
Whatever is the world coming to, you have to wonder, when Pedro Almodovar emerges from years of gleefully unselfconscious filmmaking with a cinematic statement of social conscience such as Kika.
A pretty sorry one, judging by this latest offering, which finds the director as irreverently over-the-top as ever before but this time underpinning his comedy with a sobering commentary on media voyeurism and, in particular, the sort of ambulance chasing TV shows currently haemorrhaging the Spanish airwaves symptoms of a deeper malaise affecting his fellow countrymen.
It's all rendered dazzlingly enough, with stunning visuals every bit as ingenious as the director's best, but what use is style when the content is all over the place, and a genuine attempt to say something that matters simply gets lost in the making,
With Almodovar's early work, it was all about extravagance with his later work such as Talk to Her and Bad Education aiming more for the intellectuals. It's a surprise, then that this film lacks both the flamboyancy of his earlier work and the depth of his latter, landing somewhere unsatisfactorily in the middle.