With his anxious parable I'm So Excited! Pedro Almodóvar imagines a plane malfunction not as a pretext for thrills, as in most films, but for a metaphorical farce: The jet is Spain, and what we should fear for is not just the passengers' lives, but the country's. Defective landing gear forces a jet to circle the Spanish city of Toledo, waiting for an airport to be outfitted for an emergency landing. For the sake of maintaining civility-- or at least class privilege-- the plane's economy passengers have been drugged, and rest unconscious while business class copes with the situation. This has been billed as Almodóvar's return to the comedies of his youth, but he has not entirely abandoned the high-stakes melodrama that's lately served him so well. I’m So Excited! has its fair share of attempted suicides, lovers' quarrels, and depressives, not to mention a hitman-- and a clairvoyant (Lola Duenas) who sniffs him out: "I've been smelling death since the start of the trip," she quips. "At first I thought it was just the farts." Melodrama, of course, dilutes the potency of humor, and the film's comedy is further impeded by its often halfhearted execution. Screwball works best when characters pinball zingers back and forth, but too many talky scenes here are performed moderato. Ultimately, I'm So Excited! is characterized by a distinct brand of unsuccessful yet ambitious storytelling, the kind often found in minor works by major masters.
Pedro AlmodóvarPenélope Cruz, Antonio Banderas, Blanca Suárez, Lola Dueñas, Javier Cámara, Paz Vega, Cecilia Roth, Raúl Arévalo, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Carlos ArecesPedro AlmodóvarAgustín Almodóvar, Esther GarcíaSony Pictures Classics