Release date: March 8, 2013 Director: Pedro Almodovar
Pedro Almodovar’s latest film, I’m So Excited, marks the directors return to his broad style of comedy, and while it is undoubtedly hilarious, it is also an uneven experience that is far from Almodovar’s best work.
When a technical failure aboard Peninsula Flight 2549 threatens the lives of everyone on the plane, three flamboyantly gay flight attendants do everything that they possibly can to keep the increasingly irritable passengers entertained, while the pilots fly in circles looking for a proper place to land. Meanwhile, the flight attendants perform an impeccably choreographed song and dance number to The Pointer Sister’s hit song, “I’m So Excited”, and drug the first class passengers with Valencia cocktails laced with mescaline in order to calm them after revealing the horrible news concerning the flight. The economy class passengers are given muscle relaxers to help them cope with “economy class syndrome”, and so they spend the majority of the film in a deep sleep. As the passengers warm up to the attendants and to each other, they reveal details concerning their personal lives that they wouldn’t share otherwise. And since mescaline has certain aphrodisiacal qualities, just about everyone in first class and in the cockpit gets laid.
Sex plays a major role in this film. A virgin psychic in first class is determined to lose her virginity, and has sex with one of the well-endowed economy class passengers while he is sleeping. An aging actress and dominatrix sleeps with a mysterious hit man who holds a dark secret. A newly wed couple consummates their marriage, allowing others to watch. And two of the flight attendants attend to the pilots in the cockpit, one of whom is a bisexual, while the other is more than happy to experiment with his sexuality – especially while under the influence of alcohol.
All the while, their lives hang in the balance. The plane could explode on impact as they land. It could all end in tragedy. Several of the passengers call friends and family to say their goodbyes. An unnecessary sub-plot focuses on the psychotic girlfriend of one of the passengers, throwing off the tone of the rest of the film. I’m So Excited is so gleefully vulgar and over-the-top, that this overtly dramatic and tender segment feels as though it belongs in another film. There are a few nods to the economic situation in Spain in hopes to add a bit of social commentary to the proceedings. Ultimately, we don’t invest much into these elements. We’re too busy laughing at the drug-addled sexual shenanigans to make that sort of emotional shift.
Other than that, I’m So Excited is a colorful romp that you should not miss. It is one of Almodovar’s weaker efforts for sure, but it is so much fun that you’ll easily forgive the shortcomings, especially those who enjoy his unique brand of comedy.
Sony Pictures Classics will release I’m So Excited on a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack on January 7th. Special features include two featurettes: “Presenting I’m So Excited” and “Making I’m So Excited“.
Adam is a hardcore film fanatic. Some would call him a film snob. They’re probably right. He's been writing film reviews for as long as he can remember, and it is truly one of his passions. Aside from writing film reviews, he is also a screenwriter. He's written two shorts in the last year, one of which he plans to shoot in the spring of 2013. His favorite filmmakers are Stanley Kubrick, Terrence Malick, Ingmar Bergman, Michael Haneke, and David Lynch – simply too many to list here.