I’m So Excited!

Spain’s Academy Award-winning director Pedro Almodóvar is back with his first full-on comedy since Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown in 1988. His new offering, I’m So Excited! is definitely less subtle and presents itself as more of a farce. It’s packed with extreme characters, giving it an overall tone that feels more theatrical than cinematic. And while you might miss his somber and refined storytelling, Almodóvar retains his signature vivid colors in a film that touches on a variety of taboos. Polygamy, bi- and homosexuality, sex and drugs are all covered and practiced on screen during the one and a half hours, all under the banner of shameless hedonism.

Three homosexual flight stewards, Fajas, ulloa and Joserra (Javier Cámara), are on a regular flight from Spain to Mexico. However, as the plane takes off the two pilots notice a fault in the landing gear that forces them to fly around waiting to make an emergency landing. The flight attendants are informed and decide to put all the economy passengers to sleep with sedatives. That leaves only the passengers in business class, who form the main characters in the film. As they slowly realize the severity of the situation, we learn more about their immoral and downright wicked back-stories. These range from a female celebrity (Cecilia Roth) who claims to have enough sex tapes to blackmail over 600 prominent gentlemen in Spain, a drug smuggler on honeymoon, a polygamist actor, a sympathetic assassin, a corrupt businessman and a psychic virgin (Lola Dueñas). Trying to relax these passengers, the three stewards employ various techniques from a performance of The Pointer Sisters’ “I’m So Excited” (the film’s highlight) to making a drug and booze cocktail they force on this motley crew. Despite plenty of lines about Spain’s monarchy, its current economic crisis and politics—the film does not really fit as a harsh satire on society. Instead, the director offers up a hedonistic view of life through escapist comedy that’s heavy on the sex and innuendos. As a result, fans of his previous nostalgic and more intellectual films might find I’m So Excited! to be soft, shallow and potentially even shocking in comparison. The film is nothing short of an extended run of jokes about sex-related subjects, which is fine as long as you don’t go into the cinema hoping for something deep and meaningful. Clearly Almodóvar has set out to offer up a movie that is intended to be light, fun and definitely not to be taken too seriously.