I'm So Excited (15)
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Fri Apr 26 2013
One litmus test for auteurism could be whether a director is able to do his or her thing in a tightly confined space. ‘Stagecoach’ and ‘Lifeboat’ are unmistakably the work of John Ford and Alfred Hitchcock, despite being largely confined to, well, a stagecoach and a lifeboat. Some thrive on this model, others seem perversely ill-suited to it: Roman Polanski’s ‘Repulsion’ is in many ways his creation story, while part of the appeal of ‘127 Hours’ was seeing how the ceaselessly kinetic Danny Boyle would tell a story about a man stuck under a rock.
The vast majority of Pedro Almodóvar’s ‘I’m So Excited’ takes place on board a passenger jet, and there’s no question of it having been made by anyone but this Spanish filmmaker. High camp and high drama, family secrets and festering lies, the uses of storytelling and abuses of the unconscious, supernatural twists and melodramatic turns, telephones and television, the power of patterns – his signature concerns are all aboard and ready for take-off.
An opening disclaimer disavows any connection between the film and reality, but still ‘I’m So Excited’ is something like a state-of-the-nation screwball farce. Business class bubbles with a handful of high-stakes plots with oblique socio-political resonance, revolving around a celebrity diva (Cecilia Roth), a dodgy banker (José Luis Torrijo), a mysterious Mexican (José María Yazpik) and a psychic virgin (Lola Dueñas). Economy is out cold en masse. The flight is in trouble. The cabin crew (Javier Cámara, Carlos Areces, Raúl Arévalo) are dedicated to distraction, a hot mess of booze, drugs, blow-jobs and lip-syncs. There’s a dance break, a sex break, a lot of tequila. It’s crazy fun, even if it’s not always clear where it’s going.
As with any Almodóvar film, connections with his earlier work abound: we might think of the gazpacho from ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’, the queasy bedside ethics of ‘Talk to Her’, the terrorist hijackers of ‘Labyrinth of Passion’. Indeed, with its sprawling satire and knockabout tone, ‘I’m So Excited’ is the closest Almodóvar has come in years to early romps like ‘Labyrinth’, ‘Pepi, Luci, Bom’ and ‘What Have I Done to Deserve This?’ The context, of course, has shifted from post-Franco liberation in Spain to post-meltdown anxiety: having endured one crash, these characters face another. The auteur’s advice is to try honesty and get laid. Fasten your seatbelts – it’s going to be a bumpy night.
Author: Ben Walters
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I saw this yesterday in Hackney and I was amazed by the disparity in audience reaction - the row I was in was laughing fit to bust but a large chunk of the audience was clearly totally unmoved. The review is spot on, Pedro having fun in a way that he hasn't done for years. At the same time digging hard at Spain as it is today. I had made sure not to read the reviews and really just loved the ride from the beautiful credits sequence (as always in his films) to the last minute.
Watched it yesterday, despite the common laughs at certain points, most people were dead silent watching while i was laughing my ass off in true spanish sarcasm and wit I must confess not one of his best movies but better than some aclaimmed american poxy boring repetitive movies
I can only assume the reviewer is giving Almodovar a passing grade here because of his previous work, as this is one of the worst films I've seen in many years. Turgid, tedious, unfunny, lacking in wit and in spatial awareness (never does it come to realising the dramatic and comic potential of being in such a confined space), amateurish and hugely boring. As another commenter says, the handful of good bits are in the trailer. Watch that and save your money. Incredibly disappointing, particularly given that the quality that Almodovar is capable of, both recently and in his earlier screwball stuff, to which I'm So Excited is but a limp imitation.
I watched it in Wandsworth along with a silent unimpressed audience who barely laughed once, no doubt drawn like I was by Almodóvar's reputation and a witty trailer. We're used to Graham Norton and Alan Carr's clever humour whereas this just serves up some repetitive well trod clichés. You've seen the trailer, that's the best of the film, so save your money or else you won't be laughing whilst waiting for the credits to roll.
I watched it in the Wandsworth World of Cinema and there was barely a titter, finishing with a rush to the exit when the first credit rolled. I went on the basis it was an Almodóvar film and the expectation it would be Graham Norton and Alan Carr do budget airlines, but it isn't. I didn't laugh once, nor did my buddy and the audience were mostly mute too. it's a Spanish Carry On film without the humour to make it funny for the English palate and lacks the sharp gay humour we have got used to with Norton and Carr. Save your money and wait for it to come out on video before you watch it with the fast forward controller. Shame, it's was Almodóvar, could've have been good.