Although it’s hard to get all that excited about the newest film from Oscar-winning Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, I’m So Excited! is a fun trip. Socially transgressive, shot in crayon colours and featuring outrageously campy performances and zesty pop music, it’s an amusing echo of his provocative 1980s output. Mostly set aboard a passenger jet that has to make an emergency landing it may not survive, Excited has an interesting cast of characters who slowly get out of control. Leading the way is a trio of gay stewards who serve all the business-class passengers a highly alcoholic punch augmented with several caps of mescaline to lighten the mood.
Whether it’s the aging dominatrix who fears assassination because she’s a blackmail threat to her country’s most powerful men, or the bisexual pilot who’s been carrying on with the lead steward, this plane is carrying lots of secret … and a full cargo of crazy. Several storylines are slowly fleshed out, amidst lots of sexually explicit shenanigans that are vintage Almodovar, most riotously when the trio of cabin attendants play the Pointer Sister’s I’m So Excited over the P.A. while exuberantly miming the song like transvestite cabaret performers.
The movie is a cheeky salute to human sexuality (and, being by Almodovar, could just as easily have been titled I’m So Gay!). Funny but also a bit forgettable, Excited is a minor satirical work by a major director. That said, the performances are uniformly excellent, and the direction and visual flair are classic Almodovar. Be aware, though, that conservative-minded viewers may be discomfited by the film’s gleefully uninhibited sexual content.
I’m So Excited! plays October 11-12 at UVic’s Cinecenta