Seventh feature by a Spanish writer/director hitherto unknown in this country: a lush, overblown, steamy, tragi-comedy murder thriller set in Madrid, there's something to offend and delight everyone. It opens intercutting between the filming, dubbing and première of one of fictional director/writer Pablo Quintero's homo-erotic movies. Pablo leaves the first-night party without his quasi-lover, Juan, who's straight and loves him dearly, but... desire's off his menu. Pablo sends Juan to the country to put distance between them, and a handsome stranger, Antonio, obsessed by the director, makes his move to fill the gap. Actress Tina, the director's sex-changed brother (the stupendous
), now a lesbian, has her own problems to deal with, plus her lover's precocious daughter. Pablo, Tina and Antonio take up their themes in a passionate fugue which accelerates fast. Wit, sex, drugs and topsy-turvy clichés abound; Almodóvar's sensuous style carries all before him. A life-affirming joy.