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Paola Ardizzoni and Emilio Pereda

Carlos Areces as Fajas and Raúl Arévalo as Ulloa in I’m So Excited.

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★★★✩✩

I’m So Excited

Directed by Pedro Almodovar

Starring Javier Cámara, Lola Dueñas, Cecilia Roth

Rated R

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Oh, Almodovar: It’s hard not to like you no matter what you do. While definitely not one of his best, I’m So Excited is as deliciously kitschy as bubble gum ice cream.

Reminiscent of his early films, though with the camp notch turned to max, both in character and aesthetics, the film itself is funny and a welcome break in the comedy genre from bros, dysfunctional couples, and horny teens in nasty, messed up situations.

A worn formula of intertwined stories happening in one confined space, I’m So Excited has us stuck in Spanish skies, flying around in circles inside a Mexico-bound plane that cannot land.

The problem is not that big, but big enough to shake our nerves: a landing gear cannot come down. As a result, the deliciously gay cabin crew (Javier Cámara, Carlos Areces, and Raúl Arévalo) resort to code-breaking, soul-saving procedures to appease the nerves of the passengers, as well as their own.

While the pilots (Antonio de la Torre and Hugo Silva) search for an empty landing strip, economy class has been give a little help, unbeknownst to them, to sleep its way through the flight. Meanwhile, business class, inhabited by a hit man, a psychic virgin, a sex symbol in her platinum years, a dodgy business man, a womanizing actor, and a couple of ravers on their honeymoon, becomes a hot gay mess drenched in tequila shots, mescaline-infused cocktails, lip-synch dances, steamy sex and blow-jobs.

Privacy becomes intimacy when Almodovar uses a malfunctioning airplane phone as the vehicle to deliver his staple themes: family secrets, patterns, coincidences, infallible destiny, lies, and deceptions. All are aired in public, which leads to solutions and empathy being offered by fellow passengers.

In short, I’m So Excited is a summery, “snap crackle pop!” movie that, while not his finest or most riveting, still retains Almodovar’s quality trademarks, including a great soundtrack and vibrant cinematography, which raise this film way up above the comedies offered nowadays.