I’m So Excited! is the latest film from Pedro Almodóvar, the talented and often brilliant Spanish filmmaker responsible for a huge variety of films such as All About My Mother, Volver and, most recently, The Skin I Live In. This film is the complete opposite to that latter picture. The Skin I Live in was Almodovar’s journey into the dark world of body-horror: Hostel meets Cronenberg with a colourful European twist. This, however, is a bright fizz of fun; a ridiculously over-the-top light comedy that, for the most part, takes place within the confines of an aeroplane.
The plane’s crew and passengers are largely made up of faces Almodóvar fans will be familiar with, with some new additions. They include Javier Camara, Raul Arevalo and Carlos Areces as three very camp flight attendants, Antonio De La Torre as the captain, Hugo Silva as his co-pilot, Lola Duenas as a virgin psychic, Cecilia Roth as a spiky middle-aged passenger and Jose Maria Yazpik as a shady man who may be up to something very dodgy indeed. Oh, and there is the impossibly gorgeous Miguel Angel Silvestre as a groom who smuggles drugs onto the plane.
The pumped-up-to-a-thousand tone may become too much for some, though Almodóvar intelligently couples the moments of raucous and raunchy comedy with some subtler scenes of drama (most of which take place on the ground amongst people connected to the passengers).
As a comedy, this film is close to perfect. The laughs are continuous and effective, combining wit with a welcome dash of ludicrousness. If one wanted to find fault, it would be possible to mount a case against Almodovar on both his representation of gay men (nearly all of them in this film are flamboyantly camp, which continues an unfortunate and unhelpful stereotype that movies often peddle) and illegal drug use. But although dangerous drug taking is handled with flippancy and a light tone, the world these characters inhabit is so clearly a weird and wacky fantasy that it would be hard to call this film irresponsible.
After the torture and torment of The Skin I Live In (good though it was), it’s great to see Spain’s king of biting comedy return with a deliciously mounted, terrifically executed treat. I’m So Excited! is nothing short of delightful.
I’m So Excited (2013), directed by Pedro Almodóvar, is released in UK cinemas on 3 May by Twentieth Century Fox and Pathe, Certificate 15.