Movie Review: I'm So Excited!
Austin360.com | Austin American-Statesman
Three gay flight attendants try to distract distraught passengers and do a flamboyant, sexually suggestive dance routine to the Pointer Sisters’ “I’m So Excited” in the latest farce from Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar.
As you might imagine, this is a far cry from Almodóvar’s more serious efforts, such as “All About My Mother” and “Bad Education.” But it’s not at all an unexpected departure for the iconoclast of Spanish cinema, whose comedies include the wacky “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.”
In his new movie, passengers and crew on a jet bound from Spain to Mexico City are on the verge of a breakdown because of a mechanical problem that has forced the plane to circle the Spanish city of Toledo, while pilots try to get permission to attempt a crash landing.
In most situations, this setup would seem to mimic the 1970 disaster blockbuster “Airport.” But Almodóvar is actually putting a gay spin on 1980’s “Airplane!”
He’s also doing what he does best: making a wry commentary on Spanish culture and politics.
When the crew learns of the problem with the landing gear, they decide to focus on keeping the peace (or keeping the common people out of the way). So the flight attendants in economy class slip sleeping pills to all of their passengers, and the pesky rubes are zonked out for the rest of the movie.
The only ones who remain awake are the wealthy business class passengers, the flight crew that attends to their needs and the two pilots.
The three male flight attendants with Pointer Sisters tendencies deal with their frayed nerves by downing multiple shots of tequila. They debate why they didn’t bring more drugs onboard. (They only have heroin, cocaine and a few other pharmaceuticals, tsk, tsk.) And they strut through the cabin offering various cocktails and sizing up the sexual opportunities.
As it turns out, the head flight attendant is the captain’s lover; the co-pilot isn’t as heterosexual as he thinks. And the business class passengers are more than a bit unusual. They include a well-known dominatrix who thinks she’s being pursued by a killer; a mysterious security agent who finds the dominatrix intriguing; a crooked financier who’s trying to get out of the country before he’s arrested; an aging movie star who’s trying to escape a disastrous romantic life; a virgin who claims to have psychic powers and is determined to have sex before she dies; and a sexually aroused man who’s on his honeymoon but is actually a drug mule.
It’s not difficult, of course, to see the various passengers — from the crooked capitalist to the lustful virgin — as representing segments of Spanish society, at least from Almodóvar’s perspective.
One by one, the passengers begin to realize that they’re in serious trouble. And they’re definitely not ready to go into the blue yonder without getting a bit wild first.
The flight attendants reason that if everyone is gonna party for one last time, they might as well have a mood enhancer, so they spike the complimentary cocktails with mescaline.
A sexual romp ensues, with absolutely no pretense at subtlety.
For those who enjoy bawdiness with their comedy, “I’m So Excited!” will be catnip. For those expecting subtitled sophistication, look elsewhere.