I'm So Excited!
After making an unsettling and memorable foray into thriller territory with The Skin I Live In, Pedro Almodóvar’s new film feels like a conscious attempt to recapture the spirit of his earlier comedic films. A cast of Almodóvar regulars play the eccentric passengers and cabin crew who find themselves on board a potentially doomed flight, but while they all bring commendable energy to their parts, the coincidences and revelations that the director's stories have always been built on feel particularly strained here.
The gags – many of which lean heavily on tiresome gay stereotypes – are frequent but they only provoke the occasional chuckle, and Almodóvar’s decision to play rape for laughs is astoundingly misguided, creating a sense of discomfort that is at odds with the breezy tone. I’m So Excited is a broad, raunchy farce that sometimes threatens to develop into a Buñuelian satire on Spain’s ruling classes, but it ends up looking like a disappointingly half-baked effort from a director whose body of work has entitled us to expect much more. [Philip Concannon]