I’m So Excited
Rating: Almodovar’s film is about sex in all of its delightful permutations. No one in their right mind should want to see it, and the rest of you should.
While there is no adequate way to properly review Pedro Almodovar’s homosexual farce I’m So Excited, imagine John Cleese and the boys doing one last Monty Python film where they were all flamboyantly gay. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) In the end, I can see this film matriculating to Broadway in much the same fashion as accomplished by the hit drag comedy Kinky Boots (2005).
If you’ve taken the time to either see the previews or its trailer, you know that this film is going to be outrageously funny. The problem is that you have trouble imagining what this crazed movie could possibly be about. As a consequence, I sat down in the theater with a great deal of bizarre anticipation, and I wasn’t disappointed. While not a great movie, I did have a great time.
To begin with, you already know that Mr. Almodovar, also the film’s writer, is an artistic genius. Think of his great films like Volver (2006), Talk to Her (2002, All About My Mother (1999) and Woman on the Verge of Nervous Breakdown (1988). I truly didn’t like his last contribution, The Skin I Live In (2011), as I failed to connect with a plastic surgeon (Antonio Banderas) who surgically transformed a captive male rapist into a woman. Although I must admit that he/she did end up awfully attractive.
Following a brief cameo appearances by Mr. Banderas and Penelope Cruz as airline employees assigned to baggage transportation, 95% of the film takes place in the plane. Attempting to fly from Spain to Mexico City, chaos breaks loose in the business section, as the entire economy class was previously put to sleep with tranquilizers by a gay flight crew that hated them.
In the process, nonsense reigns supreme as our three male flight attendants wrestle with their sexuality and the passengers’ safety. To try to make everyone more at ease, they lace free alcohol with doses of mescaline smuggled on to the plane by a new groom, and every passenger is quickly consumed with the desire to have sex. The pilot sneaks into the bathroom with one of the flight attendants, a clairvoyant virgin engages in oral sex with a young, semi-comatose member of the economy class, and the bride and groom consummate their marriage in their first class seat. And that was only a small part of the delightful spectacle that unfolds.
The three gay flight attendants are a cinematic feast from beginning to end. When they attempt to inspire the passengers by breaking in to their own version of the Pointer Sisters’ “I’m So Excited”, you are likely to join the viewing audience by collapsing into hysterical tears. Despite their desire to find some mescaline for the passengers, watch their criticism of the groom when he reveals that he has jammed some mescaline in a package up his butt to avoid detection. Need I really say more?
There have been some truly entertaining movies with gay themes in the past, and I’m So Excited dances in their league. I’ve already mentioned Kinky Boots, a comedy involving a failing English shoe manufacturer finding creative inspiration with the help of a talented transvestite played by Chiwetel Ejiofor.
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) is a gift from the gay Gods, as it describes a trip taken by three shameless Australian transvestites crossing the Outback in a bus. However, the best such film may be Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001), which tells an outrageous musical tale of a woman bitterly disappointed by a bit of leftover anatomy after her botched surgery to change her male components.
While I really don’t know if I can recommend this film despite the fact that I loved it, imagine Almodovar doing a film where modern-day Boy Scout troops are led by unembarrassed gay troop leaders. Furthermore, imagine them singing “I’m So Excited” to the boys in the same fashion as our gay attendants in this film, and you decide whether you will venture into the theater.