I’m So Excited
Pedro Almodóvar returns to the brassy style of his earlier films
The new comedy from beloved Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar begins with a message assuring us that the film ‘is fiction and fantasy, and has no connection to reality’; a provocation to assume the opposite is true if ever there was one. But while there are possible political parallels to be drawn from this story of a passenger plane flying in circles over Spain due to faulty landing gear, most UK audiences (this reviewer included) will take I’m So Excited for what it is on the surface: a camp, frothy piece of fun, arguably indulgent and occasionally misjudged in its casual depictions of sex, but ultimately won out by Almodóvar’s incessant love of tall stories.
The opening scene sets the tone, as a husband-and-wife airport runway crew (a cameoing Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz) are distracted from final plane checks by news of her pregnancy. There is an air of the ridiculous to the scene but the frivolous details are delightful; the moment sets up the necessary plot detail of why the plane can’t land and gives us a perfectly-formed, and totally unrelated, tiny story at the same time. So it goes throughout the film, as we first meet the ultra-camp cabin crew, then a soap opera-worthy set of business-class passengers, including Almodóvar regular Lola Duenas as a psychic woman convinced she will lose her virginity on the flight. Despite how silly it all is – and at points it is Airplane!-level silly – there is so much enjoyment to be had from Almodóvar’s ability to give every character a compelling story, and successfully resolve them all in under 90 minutes. And in case you wondered, yes it has a musical number, and yes it is hilarious.
Limited release from Fri 3 May.