Friday, July 05, 2013


Coffee, Tea or Me?, Dept.

Poster for Los Amantes Pasajeros (U.S.: I'm So Excited)

As you can see, the graphic, shall we say, thrust of this film's poster shifted north in translation.
I saw this today and thought it a hoot.  I think there's a disadvantage to apprehending this film through subtitles, as the rhythms and wit of Almodóvar's dialogue are crucial to the fun.  But this is the director's camp discourse on sex and death.  Mostly sex--gay, straight and bi--with knowing nods to his earlier films, including cameos from Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz.  The English title refers to a lip-synced version of the Pointer Sisters' hit performed by a Greek chorus of three flight stewards who are among the flounciest characters Almodóvar has committed to film and who provide commentary throughout the film on the goings-on.

In short, the flight to Mexico on which the characters find themselves may or may not be able to land in one piece due to a stuck landing gear, and, so, the possibility of their imminent demise puts the passengers in business class in a tell-all mood.  Helped by the mescaline-laced cocktails the crew serves to lighten their spirits.

Some sourpuss film critics (and, here, I'm looking at you, Manohla Dargis) seem to want Almodóvar to stay in serious gear, ignoring the fact that his ability to turn out sex-farcical trifles is what put him on the map.  His inability to provide Ms. Dargis with a "coherent, sustaining gestalt" troubles her and some of her fellow critics.  My suggestion might be that she knock back one of the Valenciano cocktails the crew liberally dispenses and pop the cork out of her...critical mindset.

A perfect bit of foam and fizz for this hot July, with just enough substance to keep it all from floating away.

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