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I'm So Excited ****

The latest Almodovar film is a fun and surrealistic comedy, a mix between his best known movies, titles as Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and his edgier films, like Kika. Almodovar is without a doubt, the most impotant Spanish director overseas, and every movie he directs is kind of an event, here in Spain and with the international market. It would be very easy for him to make a more conventional film, something that would please most of the audience with a simple story, regular characters and so. But then it wouldn’t be an Almodovar movie. And that is why this is a really funny movie. He takes the usual elements of his films and takes them one step ahead. It’s crazy, it’s politically incorrect and it’s fun.

You can dislike the films of the Spanish director and screenwriter, but you have to notice his brilliant work behind the cameras, the elegance of every shot, the dialogues, the performances… You may not like it, there is no problem with that, but that doesn’t make it a bad job. Not at all. He has the talent of a great filmmaker and he knows how to make it work in the screen. And in these crazy times, with the economic crisis, with a world that is more selfish and closed every day, a movie like I’m So Excited gives you a break. It makes you laugh, it makes you smile and that smile last even when the movie is over. But for those who don’t enjoy his films, this one can be a really hard one to swallow… not pun intended.

The films relates the story of a plane with a big mechanical failure that makes the landing almost impossible, so the journey to Mexico turns out to be changed, and they fly around Spain, waiting for a free airport to make an emergency landing. And meanwhile we get to know the crew and the passengers of this really particular flight. And insane crew, with three really particular gay flight attendants (that performs musical choreographies during the flight, one of the funniest movies of the film) and two pilots, and the even most crazy passengers, with a virgin clairvoyant, a famous dominatrix, a corrupt banker… And those are the things the director use to make a crazy universe, where nothing is sacred and everything can happen. Everything.

From a musical performance to drugs, from bizarre (and some of them extremely funny) phone calls from the plain, to a visit to an apartment… because that is another great thing about the movie, Almodovar knows when to change the place where the action takes place and avoids being in the same place from the beginning until the end. He really knows when the story needs a little change in the environment, moving it to Madrid for some minutes. It is refreshing and really interesting. The same thing happens with how he tells the story, a comedy that sometimes looks like a thriller. Only looks like it, because it is always a comedy. A politically incorrect comedy. Really incorrect, with a no prisoners policy. It doesn’t matter if he is talking about gays, bankers, mistresses, pilots, sex, politics… It’s always subversive, even crazier than any previous Almodovar film. And that is why it is so funny.

And what can we say about the cast. A ensemble cast that reunites some of the most important Spanish talents, all of them brilliant, insane and funny. From Javier Cámara to Hugo Silva, Raúl Arévalo, Carlos Areces, Lola Dueñas, Willy Toledo, Blanca Suárez, Antonio de la Torre, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Paz Vega, Carmen Machi… The movie has some cameos too, from Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas. They open the movie. All of them have a great moment to remember, to laugh, to shine in I’m So Excited. Anyone that knows Spanish film industry will be pleased with this cast.

It isn’t perfect. The banker is a character full of topics, well rounded, but too simplistic. And the director shows that he knows how to criticize the Spanish economic situation with a subtle message, so the banker seems like a loose end to the film. And it is funny, crazy and surrealistic, but it’s not a great movie. It is really really good, enjoyable, but not great. Some people will even dislike the film because it is not politically correct, and if you don’t like Almodovar movies you can even hate this one, because it’s even edgier than you can even expect. But for the ones who love the films of such a great director, it’ll be perfect. And for those who wants to have some laughs and forget about the real world for 90 minutes, it will work. Even more if you are open minded about it. And remember the title during the movie…

Jesus Usero

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