"I'm So Excited!": Almodovar's Plane Crash Farce Takes Off

Pedro Almodóvar has had a long enough career to be forgiven for the occasional toss-off, and his new I'm So Excited! is mostly a fluffy lark. It's a fun fluffy lark, though, with an outwardly serious premise: When an airliner experiences a critical technical failure (thanks to a cameo by Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz), the telenovela-ready passengers and very gay crew try to prepare for death, often by distracting themselves from their inevitable fate. The passengers also make speaker-phone calls to the ground, and I'm So Excited! loses some its focus when one of those calls leads to an earthbound subplot involving archetypal Almodóvar women Ruth (Blanca Suárez) and Alba (Paz Vega), scenes that feel like remnants from a different, less interesting movie. Except for that digression, I'm So Excited! wisely stays on the plane, the production design of which has a pleasantly 1970s vibe, appropriate enough for a film that harkens back to that decade's run of all-star disaster pictures. But I'm So Excited!'s soul is much closer to the disaster spoof Airplane! than to the straight-laced Airport films, and Almodóvar being Almodóvar, it features more discussions of the mechanics and politics of dick-sucking than you're likely to hear in any other movie currently playing American multiplexes.

 
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