Movie review: Get “Excited!” for Almodovar’s new farce

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From the August 1, 2013 edition

Director/Spanish national treasure Pedro Almodovar’s films have run the gamut, but you would think he might get whiplash from following up his twisted Hitchcock-ian “The Skin I Live In” with “I’m So Excited!”

The exclamation point is part of the title, and it’s well-deserved. Almodovar returns to over-the-top farce with unabashed glee, for better or worse.

Nearly all of the film takes place on an airliner to Mexico City from Spain. When a landing gear problem has the plane in need of an emergency landing, the pilots, crew and passengers look for ways to relieve the pressure — namely booze and sex.

The comedy here is broad, borderline silly, but Almodovar generally pulls it off. The airline setting makes the film feel like a play, albeit a lively and colorful one. This would make a seamless transition to the stage.

Almodovar has called this his “gayest film,” and there’s no moment gayer than the scene in which three air stewards perform a rousing rendition of the Pointer Sisters classic that gives the film its name. Good luck trying not to smile through that.

Occasionally things fly a little too far — the passengers in coach are conveniently omitted from the events when the stewards simply roofie everyone, and there are a few too many characters and a few too many loose ends.

But I say go along for the ride. Embrace the silliness and have fun with a superb director.