It was meant to be a campy, kitsch com­edy about trol­ley dol­lies. Almod­ovar’s I’m So Ex­cited might also just be his worst movie ever, writes Marc An­drews.

DNA Magazine - - CONTENT -

It says a lot about Pe­dro Almod­ovar’s lat­est film that he wastes guest cameos from An­to­nio Ban­deras and Pene­lope Cruz within the first two min­utes in a throw­away scene that has noth­ing to do with the rest of the film. I’m So Ex­cited is a lost op­por­tu­nity.

It was sup­posed to be a nod to his screw­ball come­dies of the past, up­ping the gay ante to sat­isfy crit­ics who com­plained his re­cent ef­forts had by­passed any dis­cernible gay char­ac­ters. But when I’m So Ex­cited landed on the big screen there were few who man­aged to find any­thing vaguely pleas­ant about its grat­ing, re­lent­less über-campy non­sense. Now that it’s limped onto DVD, it has to be said this is one big fat plane crash.

I’m So Ex­cited is so full of stereo­typed and hy­per-over­wrought ho­mo­sex­u­als you won­der why no one work­ing on the movie pointed this out to its di­rec­tor. At times it seems more like a rem­nant from the 1970s, when people didn’t know any bet­ter about gay men or gay life. It paints gay men as gen­er­ally evil, de­vi­ous, con­niv­ing be­ings whose only joy in life is ei­ther dish­ing out drugs (we’ll get to that in a

Almod­ovar must be­lieve gay men are pop­ping Quaaludes like they never went out of fash­ion.

mo­ment), or dish­ing on each other. For some odd rea­son, Almod­ovar must be­lieve gay men are pop­ping Quaaludes like they never went out of fash­ion.

As for the plot, it’s about Penin­sula Flight 2549 which has a tech­ni­cal fail­ure and then lands. In be­tween there are me­an­der­ing, dead-end sto­ry­lines like one about some­one’s girl­friend who some­how finds a mo­bile phone that’s fallen from a bridge and re­alises it’s her ex on the line (an ev­ery day oc­cur­rence in Almod­ovar­land). Did we men­tion it fell out of the hand of his other girl­friend who was about to jump off that bridge? If that sounds ridicu­lously laboured and supremely over­thought, that’s how it comes across on screen.

Also on board is a bit­ter old diva with a big dirty se­cret, a hit­man who falls in love with her and who also, it turns out, was sup­posed to kill her… need we go on? We wanted to love this one. Almod­ovar films of­ten res­onate, and he was at his gay best Law Of De­sire (1987), a sexy thriller star­ring An­to­nio show­ing lots of flesh.

I’m So Ex­cited is not only for­get­table, it has a slight case of ho­mo­pho­bia. We’re not talk­ing about the stereo­typ­ing (does ev­ery male flight at­ten­dant re­ally have arched eye­brows?), but the fact the straight char­ac­ters are shown hav­ing sex in this movie, but the gay ones only get to talk about it. Af­ter a while the high campery of the three male flight at­ten­dants is not so much an­noy­ing as it is nau­se­at­ing.

The one high­light is where our trio of shrill trol­ley dol­lies whiz through a dance rou­tine on to The Pointer Sis­ters’ I’m So Ex­cited. If only the movie had in­cluded more of this sparkling silli­ness it might have been less, well, dull. This may be the first Almod­ovar movie that has com­mit­ted the car­di­nal sin of be­ing down­right bor­ing. If you’re still awake by the end of the movie… we owe you an apol­ogy.

Since this film’s re­lease, Almod­ovar hasn’t at­tached him­self to any new project. Maybe he’s still sulk­ing at its less than luke­warm re­cep­tion. An­other in­ter­est­ing thing is that when you look through his im­pres­sive cat­a­logue of films, he was con­sis­tently nom­i­nated and win­ning awards at the Golden Globes, Cannes and the Os­cars (for 2002’s Talk To Her).

I’m So Ex­cited is his first movie in three decades not to have been nom­i­nated for an award of any sort or to have been listed among crit­ics’ best movies of the year. He tried to pass it off as “a light, very light com­edy” but this slice of past-its-use-by date stinky fluff has sul­lied the Almod­ovar brand. Let’s hope when his next movie ar­rives it’s a daz­zling re­turn to form.

more: I’m So Ex­cited is re­leased on DVD and Blu-Ray through Trans­mis­sion.

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