My colleague, who saw the film with me at the GFT in Glasgow, described Pedro Almodovar’s I’m So Excited (2013) as a ‘Carry On movie with balls’ an apt description considering the subject matter! His latest film is a return to the joyously wacky films included within his superb body of work and differs entirely from his previous film The Skin I Live In (2011) a much darker outing described as a ‘horror film for adults’ when it was screened at the RBCFT Film Club.
Most of I’m So Excited is set on a passenger plane bound for Mexico City. Its landing gear has been badly damaged when a pregnant baggage truck driver (Penelope Cruz) and her husband (Antonio Banderas), who is responsible for inspecting the removal of the airliners chocks, are involved in a minor incident on the airport runway. The plane is airborne before the crew discover that they will have to execute an emergency landing without the use of the landing gear! The passengers flying economy class are all in a deep sleep; drugged by the female cabin staff, while the seven business class passengers, a dominatrix to the rich and powerful (Cecilia Roth), a virgin clairvoyant who can sense the presence of death (Lola Duenas), a financier on the run wanted for a massive fraud, an actor fleeing a women who he once loved who is now threatening suicide, a Mexican hit man, a newly married young couple and the three gay male cabin crew, all of whom are fully aware of the impending disaster. It’s these characters along with the bi-sexual pilot and co-pilot that are central to Almodovar’s comedic story.
This is the first of the Spanish directors films where in the opening credits he uses his full name rather than just Almodovar. But the film retains the rich colours provided by regular cinematographer Jose Luis Alcaine and the opening credits are in his normal 1980’s style. Although not a complex film Almodovar does attempt an analogy of modern Spain and its economic crisis. The movies comic highlight is a mime by the very camp stewards of the Pointer Sister’s 1982 hit record that gives the film its English title. To be a cinemagoer is to be a kind of voyager, connected to strangers in the dark, warmed by the promise of shared pleasure, despite what horrors may be unfolding in the the bright light of reality . I can promise that for the 90 minutes that Pedro Almodovar’s entertaining film takes to unfold its colourfully risqué story you will forget the bright light of reality.
|Flying Business Class.|
 In a recent interview with Shereen Low of The Independent Almodovar states that the metaphor of the crippled plane has darker resonances ‘going around in circles without knowing when you’re going to land, making emergency landings and living with a sense of uncertainty and fear reflects the situation in Spain’
 Alexandra Oliver April 2013.