Extra I’m So Excited
A string of unconnected, immature sketches with all the sophistication of a Carry On film.
After the intense, warped psychosexual horror that was the masterful The Skin I Live In, Pedro Almodóvar returns to camp comedy with this disastrous romp.
It's charitable to think Almodóvar is making some kind of social commentary with this very silly, quite awful farce. The film is predominantly set on a flight from Spain to Mexico City, with the crew and passengers in business class in a flap after learning the landing gear has failed. Circling for the film's duration, the three air stewards break out the drugs and alcohol for a chaotic flurry of confessions and surprisingly chaste orgies. A cameoing Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz set up the story on the ground, never to be seen again.
While the three stereotypically flamboyant stewards (Javier Camara, Raul Arevalo, Carlos Areces) are a lot of fun, as are the sexually confused pilots (Hugo Silva, Antonio de la Torre), the passengers are a dreadful bunch of characters - a soap actor, a high class dominatrix, a shallow pair of newlyweds and Almodóvar regular Lola Dueñas as a 40-year-old virgin. All are vehicles for a string of unconnected, immature sketches with all the sophistication of a Carry On film. If it wasn't tedious enough, the film switches to the ground for a dull subplot involving the actor's lovers.
It's as if the entire film has been worked around the trailer-friendly rendition of the Pointer Sisters track that gives the film its English-language title, with Camara, Arevalo and Areces miming and dancing to 'I'm So Excited' up the aisles for a full five minutes. It's a joyous moment, and highlights the typical Almodóvar vibrancy and colour. However, the dated, morally dubious 'humour' that surrounds it is painful. With the economy class passengers drugged unconscious, Almodóvar finds it hilarious and sexy to for one oblivious male passenger to be raped by one of the female characters while everyone else is coupling up.
A smutty, unfunny one-note joke dragged out for 90 minutes; without Almodóvar's name attached, arthouse cinemas wouldn't touch it with a bargepole.