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Friday, 5 April 2013

I'M SO EXCITED (LOS AMANTES PASAJEROS). FILM.

This film feels like Pedro Almódovar, the director, got a little worn out from making movies that have something serious to say, and decided to just let loose with all his baser, more vulgar instincts. And this is not necessarily a criticism, because I'm So Excited is at times hilarious. But it also feels like Almódovar on autopilot.

'Autopilot' is apt here as most of the film is set on an airplane that is circling the airspace around Madrid waiting for a runway to open up for an emergency landing. There is a technical fault with the plane and so they need to land immediately rather than continue to Mexico, their original destination. 

In Spanish the title is a play on words. "Pasajeros" can mean "passengers" but also "fleeting, short-lived". So "Los Amantes Pasajeros" could be translated as "The Fleeting Lovers", with a hint to the idea that all the characters are passengers on an airplane.

The title in English, however, comes from the Pointer Sisters' song that the three air stewards perform to entertain the passengers. The song, and the performance, are fitting in their campness. It is a very camp film, epitomised by the three air stewards who are the centre of the film, and the key to the comedy, filthy and explicit and direct as it is. Javier Cámara - who starred in Almodóvar's earlier film Talk to Her - is especially good as the head steward who is incapable of not telling the truth.  

It is useful to note that the beginning of the film is totally deceptive. The first scene shows us some of the airport crew failing to perform basic maintenance, thus explaining the technical problems later experienced by the plane. Two of this ground crew are played by Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas. After this scene they disappear and are never seen again, each appearing for a total of about three minutes. 


For fans of Almodóvar, this film is like a snack, while they are waiting for a real meal. It is a bawdy, juvenile, colourful, chaotic, vivid, hilarious, lazy farce. It is worth seeing if you want to laugh a lot and are not easily shocked, but you need to know what you're letting yourself in for. 

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