“I’m So Excited” (“Los amantes pasajeros”)
Almodovar’s Gayest Film
If I say that there is something about an Almodovar film, you probably know what I mean and if you do not, then you will by the time you finish reading this review of his newest and gayest film, “I’m So Excited”. Almodovar’s films usually make us laugh and make us think simultaneously and this is no exception—it is more than a comedy and I would classify it as a political allegory about Spain suffering an economic crisis. As viewers, we also become second-class airline passengers asleep on a plane and have really no idea about what is happening and do not deserve to know. The first-class passengers, however, are wide awake and have not been manipulated and therefore can know the truth—they are the technocrats but have other problems and the way they became “first class” is what Almodovar looks at here. We see a world where no one does his job properly as reflected by Almodovar’s cinema “darling”, Penelope Cruz, who represents those who care only about their own personal worlds and not the larger world of political corruption and economic scandal. The world of our passengers (and our own, ala Almodovar) is one of individualism and sex.
Almodovar is saying something even about the current situation of Spain and Europe and the last scene with empty interiors and shameful waste of money seems to be to me, at least, a clear statement from the author about what should be actually called a “disaster” in today’s world.
The plane develops technical problems. The crew is made up of five gay (or bisexual) males and the females are asleep. In First class we have a 40 year old women, a virgin who has visions, a male actor, another woman who has slept with the 600 most powerful men in Spain, a serial killer who does not kill women, newly-weds (the male has drugs in his rectum and the woman sleep-walks) and a businessman. In the second class are sleeping passengers of which one has had sex with the virgin in First Class (while he was asleep).
Some may think that Almodovar has taken a break from serious drama to bring us this comedy which is actually as serious, if not more so, than his most serious films. Yet this is also a return to comedy that contains the kitsch and pop taste that is his characteristic. There is a great moment when the stewards sing to the playback of “I’m So Excited” by Pointer Sisters. Narrative structure and meaning are missing perhaps but there are gag sequences and paradoxical situations that are excessively funny sexual moments that are not vulgar. There are viewers and critics that will hate it—and many already do. It is heavy camp, surreal and sexy but so life can be. It is a matter of taste—crude and ridiculous and I love it. While I may seem to contradict myself in this review, I defend that by saying life is a contradiction and while there is a lot of talk about fellatio, the line is never crossed into vulgarity.