“I’m So Excited” brings us a whimsical, risqué romp from writer/director Pedro Almodóvar, and it’s not for everyone. But if it’s for you, you’ll likely adore it. It all depends on your comedic sensibility. If the picture above sparks a smile, you'll be in good shape.
Here we meet jumbo jet flight crew Joserra, Fajas, and Ulloa, busily preparing the pilots’ dinners and discussing the import and possibility of finding Mr. Right. The crew have clearly been teamed for quite some time, and enjoy a familiar, teasing banter complete with Ulloa’s fervent prayers for the others’ success and salvation. All is very quiet, as the entirety of those in coach (including the crew) are fast asleep.
As Joserra enters the cockpit with dinner, we find pilots Alex and Benito desperately seeking an available airport. Part of the landing gear has malfunctioned, the only chance of survival is to locate a properly prepared runway before running out of fuel, and from here we’re off to some very crazy races.
Filmed through Almodóvar’s exquisite eye, ”I’m So Excited” also enjoys the gifts of regular collaborator and cinematographer José Luis Alcaine. Alcaine’s style of deep saturation and silky-smooth finish is simply lovely to behold throughout; everything from the pale palette of the plane itself to the colorful dress and hair color of the passengers serve as one of the film’s most engaging features.
“I’m So Excited” revels in its bawdy, no-holds-barred uninhibited vibe. Not only are the characters possessed of admirable levels of self-assurance on virtually every front, the film itself can push just about any button of any person without a funny bone. Things that would be utterly egregious in any piece not “a fantasy and complete work of fiction” occur in an almost uninterrupted stream. They’re not Daniel Tosh-level challenging, but let’s start with the fact that everyone in coach is dead to the world because the crew slipped a muscle relaxant in their drinks, and we go “downhill” from here. Not funny? Then ”I’m So Excited” will probably just annoy you.
But if you find it naughtily amusing and appreciate a sex farce with a wicked sense of humor, you’re in for an excellent time. Our characters are by and large quite likable indeed, and the stewards’ efforts to keep the passengers ~ and themselves ~ calm and happy in the face of disaster reach the heights of lowbrow comedy as everyone chooses what (or who) they’re going to do with their last few hours. (Do they die? I’ll never tell…)
Though ”I’m So Excited” suffers from a certain unevenness, it boasts a wild flair for life and love, resulting in a mashup of “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” and the “Suite” works of Neil Simon, spiked with a splash of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” (That sounds completely strange, I know, but it's actually accurate.) Not to mention it gives us the best revue number since “Priscilla”’s “Finally” number (and if you think it can’t be just as much fun without the costumes, think again).
Do yourself a favor and don’t watch the trailer ~ it gives away far too much. Just decide if a well-performed, occasionally raunchy sex and party comedy strikes your fancy, and if so, just enjoy.
Story: As a jumbo jet searches desperately for a suitable emergency landing site, the crew sets about making sure the passengers meet their doom with smiles on their faces.
Starring: Javier Cámara, Carlos Areces, Raúl Arévalo, Cecilia Roth, José María Yazpik, Lola Dueñas, José Luis Torrijo, Antonio de la Torre, Hugo Silva, Blanca Suárez, Paz Vega, Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz (cameos)
Directed by: Pedro Almodóvar
Running time: 90 minutes
Official site: http://www.losamantespasajeros.com/ (Spain)
Houston release date: July 19, 2013 at the Sundance Cinema
Tickets: Check the Sundance web site, Fandango.com or your local listings
Screened July 17th at the Landmark River Oaks theater in Houston TX