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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Javier Cámara
Raúl Arévalo
Cecilia Roth.
Directors
Pedro Almodóvar.
Screenwriters
Pedro Almodóvar.
Running Time
90 minutes

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I'm So Excited!
Air Almodóvar


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Plot
When the landing gear fails on a Peninsula Airlines flight from Madrid to Mexico City, the passengers and crew contemplate the end by reassessing their complicated lives, greeting potential oblivion with rigorous honesty and sexual abandon.


Review
I'm So Excited!
If any auteur can be relied upon to produce a masterpiece every time, it’s Pedro Almodóvar. But following his thrilling melodrama The Skin I Live In, the Spanish writer-director has potentially come a cropper with this return to the kind of Rabelaisian comedy he last attempted a quarter-century ago, with Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown.

Back then, Almodóvar’s transgressive take on Spanish culture seemed daring, outré and deliciously subversive, but social attitudes have now caught up, giving I’m So Excited! an old-fashioned, almost Carry On film sensibility which may please die-hard fans, but prove harder to swallow for newer converts — especially those drawn to the promise of the filmmaker’s erstwhile collaborators Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz, who share perhaps a minute of screen time as a pair of baggage handlers who inadvertently cause the aircraft’s undercarriage trouble.

Critics in Almodóvar’s native Spain have been quick to seize upon the metaphorical aspects of the film, with the Peninsular Airlines plane as a microcosm of the country and its present, precarious financial predicament. Yet even here, the film is only partly successful, as the scope of the story is confined to the flight deck and first-class sections — the whole of economy class (and, curiously, the female flight attendants) having been conveniently drugged.

Those who miss the metaphor, or find it heavy-handed, may still take pleasure in some of the film’s lighter-than-air moments, including some frank sexuality and character interplay, and a brilliantly choreographed, literally show-stopping sequence in which three male flight attendants (Javier Cámara, Raúl Arévalo and Carlos Areces) lip-synch to the Pointer Sisters’ hit which gives the film its English-language title. There’s also a darker, but no less enjoyable subplot, involving Paz Vega as a troubled artist saved from suicide by a phone call from the plane. Whether all this adds up to more, or less, than a sum of its parts will likely be a matter of taste.


Verdict
Whether or not the metaphorical aspects excite you, an unshakeable tolerance for high camp and lowbrow humour may be required to fully appreciate Almodóvar’s broad, bawdy comedy — even for fans of his early, funny films.


Reviewed by David Hughes

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Average user rating for I'm So Excited!
Empire Star Rating

RE: I'm So Excited!

It's an intriguing character study, and is frequently smile-inducing, but not really enough to be called "a comedy". And I get the distinct impression that Banderas and Cruz are repaying a favour... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheMightyBlackout at 23:07, 30 April 2013 | Report This Post


A very generous review. I saw this on its release last month and found it very heavy handed and toothless in its handling of any social or political comment. The subplots of the first class passengers were contrived and seemed to come from anoher script entirely; at times it feeling like two scripts meshed together as it swung from bawdy farce to ensemble piece, yet lacking anything to convincingly twine them together. The highlight of the film must be the central performances by Javier Camara,... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Danone at 07:29, 29 April 2013 | Report This Post


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