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Home / Articles / Cinema / Movie Reviews /  隆Los Amantes Pasajeros!

隆Los Amantes Pasajeros!

I鈥檓 So Excited! is both excitable and dull

July 30, 2013, 12:00 am

Here鈥檚 the setup: A plane takes off from Spain headed for Mexico. The pilots discover there鈥檚 a problem with the landing gear (the result of a silly opening scene featuring Antonio Banderas and Pen茅lope Cruz as part of the flight鈥檚 mechanical crew鈥攜eah, right), and spend the rest of the flight circling and dumping fuel while air traffic control tries to find a runway for them to attempt a crash landing.

Sounds like the makings of a great farce, right? I wonder whether anyone told director Pedro Almod贸var that a circling airline is a great metaphor for not knowing what to do with your actors or story. I鈥檓 So Excited! is so all over the place that it seems as if it鈥檚 dealing with a bad case of multiple personality disorder.

That said, it鈥檚 remarkably sure of its silliness, even if all the silliness is painfully contrived. For example, how does one reduce the number of passengers we have to deal with on an Airbus? Simple: Almod贸var gives everyone in coach a sleeping pill and the unwashed masses are passed out for the duration of the flight.

Other possible solutions the director may have considered (I have no way of knowing): Food poisoning with bad fish; a late-night flight with few passengers; a drop in cabin pressure. That鈥檚 a long way of saying it doesn鈥檛 take much effort to deal with the many, many characters waiting for something to do back in coach (and Almod贸var does uses a couple when he needs to).

As for the story, there are a few ins and outs that are mildly interesting, if not totally engaging. For example, a woman contemplating suicide on a bridge somewhere in Spain receives a phone call from Ricardo (Guillermo Toledo) as the plane he鈥檚 on circles. The woman drops the phone and in lands in the basket of a passing cyclist, Ruth (Blanca Su谩rez).

As it happens, Ruth and Ricardo know each other, because why not? But that鈥檚 where the interest in their story begins and ends. (Oh, they were having an affair at some point, and she left him because Ricardo wouldn鈥檛 leave the woman contemplating suicide. Really.)

There鈥檚 also a dominatrix on board, Norma (Almod贸var veteran Cecilia Roth), who鈥檚 convinced the plane鈥檚 mechanical problems are simple cover for an assassination attempt on her. Her performance would be funny if her character weren鈥檛 so irritating, though the way she鈥檚 tied to the other passengers is somewhat clever.

The rest of the movie features the flight attendants, a campy crew, devising ways to keep everyone liquored and drugged up so they don鈥檛 freak out and cause a panic. Needless to say, their shenanigans cause almost as many problems as the damaged landing gear.

One of the flight attendants does have a more fun purpose than the rest: Joserra (Javier C谩mara), because of a previous airborne trauma, has made a decision to never lie. Watching the other flight attendants try to keep him from answering questions asked of him by the passengers has its moments.

In the end, the stakes are pretty low, and the whole enterprise seems like the fevered dreams of Stefon, the SNL character whose list of clubs is always more outrageous than his previous visit. By the time the pilots find a runway, there will probably be a whole lot of shrugging going on from the audience. At least Almod贸var finds a decent reason to include the Pointer Sisters鈥 song 鈥淚鈥檓 So Excited,鈥 even if the cabaret the flight attendants perform to it is pretty dull.

It would be nice to think the division between crew, business class and coach is a metaphor for contemporary Spanish life, and it might be. But if you鈥檙e not privy to daily life in Spain, it鈥檚 all probably goofy, and not fun-goofy, either.



Written and directed by Pedro Almod贸var

With Javier C谩mara, Lola Due帽as and Cecilia Roth

CCA Cinematheque

90 min.



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