I’m So Excited! Screen 22 articles

I’m So Excited!

2013

I’m So Excited! Poster
  • So much of the banal construction -- despite the presence of Almodóvar's usual ace collaborators and his obligatory pop-art palette, it's his first film in eons that doesn't even look good -- and slipshod storytelling on display here could be excused if the film were actually funny. But one-liner after one-liner floats in the recycled cabin air to nary a chuckle, as one physical gag after another lands on its side.

  • Whatever abstract political thoughts kept the film afloat in Almodóvar’s mind will be barely discernible to most viewers from under its laborious litany of limp gags and endless, deadly exposition. Almodóvar has stated that he considers this a throwback to the farces on which his reputation largely rests... Yet the recollection of his more effortlessly frolicsome films like Law of Desire and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown only makes the forced farce of this one all the more glaring.

  • I’m So Excited! goes through the frenetic motions, but Almodóvar’s heart just doesn’t seem to be into frivolous hijinks anymore. Most gags land with a thud, and attempts at cheerful naughtiness cross the line into repugnance—a scene in which a female passenger from business class has sex with one of the drugged, unconscious men in coach would hardly seem so hilarious were the genders reversed.

  • A campy curiosity, pancake-flat both visually and comedically. Almodovar goes back to the 80s (even the Valencia cocktails are self-consciously nostalgic), but maybe the snag is that his freewheeling bawdiness used to have a counter-cultural aspect - whereas now he's firmly ensconced in Business Class. Preening, coy, insufferable.

  • The film serves well enough as a satirical allegory on the Spanish state of the nation, in which everyone seems headed for disaster while doing very little about it. But the film... testifies to Almodóvar’s need for a larger canvas for his meticulous mise en scène and expressive camerawork. The image of a plane in a holding pattern feels all too apt for the film’s conceits and characters, which never quite land.

  • While [Almódovar's] impassioned, manic vacillation between melodrama and screwball comedy is charming in its idiosyncratic attempt to blend wholly disparate narrative tones, he never quite finds the golden ratio between zaniness and dramatics. Ultimately, I'm So Excited! is characterized by a distinct brand of unsuccessful yet ambitious storytelling, the kind often found in minor works by major masters.

  • Like 2011’s underrated The Skin I Live In, I’m So Excited! aspires to outrageousness, and compared to some of Almodóvar’s high-toned recent work (Volver, Broken Embraces), it is bracingly blunt and unpretentious. But after establishing a jaunty tone with its candy-colored, Saul Bass–style opening credits, the film racks up a high strain-to-laugh ratio; there’s a sense Almodóvar can’t quite keep track of all his gags.

  • A movie may not make sense on first or even second viewing, but what often matters, to borrow an image from Mr. Almodóvar, is the journey — not the destination. Here, though, the journey generally drags because the spinning characters, with their tired jokes and familiar melodramas, soon feel so mechanical, like the automated parts in an Almodóvar machine.

  • Ostensibly an ensemble piece designed as a candy-colored, pansexual "Airport," the movie tries hard to coalesce into a farce — preferably one that would evoke the giddy fun of its director's early hit, "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" (1988). Unfortunately, Almodóvar fails to make the separate story lines interlock tightly enough to draw sparks and make the film work as a whole.

  • Every safety sign looks like an erection, and Peninsula Airlines just sounds phallic. Almodóvar is basically exploiting what people presume an Almodóvar movie to be — bitchy campiness — in order to get some stupid telenovela fun out of his system. By the time you see a pile of suds bobbing up and down, the sight gags have basically driven over a cliff. Yeah, this is what people think Almodóvar is. But it's Almodóvar for people who assume they can't get Almodóvar otherwise. It's Almodóvar for Target.

  • The inspiration here appears to be Frank Tashlin, the director who began his career as a Disney animator and then went on to make jocular, innovative comedies with Jerry Lewis (The Geisha Boy) and Bob Hope (Son Of Paleface) alongside ribald pop culture satires Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? and The Girl Can’t Help It. Tashlin’s vibrant aesthetic, dogged mischievousness, his sense of coiled cynicism and his wicked way with a song-and-dance number suffuse every frame of I’m So Excited.

  • The Spanish director goes back to his roots with this sexual farce that plays like Airplane! filtered through the eyes of, well, Pedro Almodóvar. But while this is one of his most flat-out entertaining movies, I missed the ambition and audacity of his previous films like a phantom limb. To belabor a botany metaphor, do we want an artist to go back to his roots when his flowering was so exceptional?

  • Despite occasionally feeling like an overdose on uppers, I'm So Excited mostly maintains a pleasant high; it revels in therapeutic and naughty feel-goodery, with a constantly pivoting narrative that searches for ways to placate the dread of a potentially fatal climax. While the film possesses the depth of an in-flight magazine, it's equipped with some fabulously flippant one-liners (such as "With a bisexual you can never be too sure").

  • The mix of the absurd and the acerbic is often sublime; for Almodóvar, even a country’s deeply ingrained dilemmas are occasion for some leavening burlesque.

  • ...Almódovar is best as a farceur, tossing off light comic riffs without obligation to present themselves as art. “I’m So Excited!”... is a bit repetitive but it’s unashamedly frivolous and often very funny. Set almost entirely in midair on a Mexico-bound trans-Atlantic airliner, “I’m So Excited!” could be easily imagined as a stage play or even a cabaret act. It’s a sort of comic “No Exit” that seems particularly pleased to literalize the idea of a cockpit.

  • At least on the surface, this movie is lighter in tone and slighter of ambition than anything he’s made since the early ‘90s... Whether you want to see those guys as the Three Fates or the witches from Macbeth – and whether you want to see them in their slightly too tight baby-blue-trimmed-with-red uniform shirts at all – the flight attendants serve as commentators on the Chaucerian ensemble of business-class passengers...

  • It’s a film that laments a bygone era of sudden freedom, now replaced by crumbling democracies and financial disasters. And it’s one that finds a major, out international filmmaker, who often has to hide homosexuality in his films, testing the waters with a new work that, while never explicit, is incredibly, unapologetically in-your-face queer.

  • Each of the characters helps inform deceptively random plot points that are driven by chance and fate. This gives I'm So Excited! tangible energy. Hardly any transitional moments exist between scenes, one bleeding into the next depending on the rapidity of action and dialogue. Almodóvar cleverly uses the one working cabin telephone to escape the captivity of the plane and involve different characters on the ground.

  • I'm So Excited often feels like a throwback to the surreal, bubbly comedies the director used to make before he became a master of ironic sentiment. However, it lacks the pitch-black edge of those earlier films. But look closer and you'll sense a lot more going on beneath the film's candy-colored surfaces.

  • As with any Almodóvar film, connections with his earlier work abound: we might think of the gazpacho from ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’, the queasy bedside ethics of ‘Talk to Her’, the terrorist hijackers of ‘Labyrinth of Passion’. Indeed, with its sprawling satire and knockabout tone, ‘I’m So Excited’ is the closest Almodóvar has come in years to early romps like ‘Labyrinth’, ‘Pepi, Luci, Bom’ and ‘What Have I Done to Deserve This?’

  • Like all of [Almodóvar's] movies, "I'm So Excited" is bursting with color, sass and sexiness, but unlike such recent masterpieces as "All About My Mother," "Talk to Her" and "Volver," it doesn't aim to mix comedy and tragedy in unexpected and risky ways. While "I'm So Excited" doesn't settle for pure farce, it maintains a light feel throughout, which one supposes is apt, as most of the movie is set on an airplane in flight.

  • I'm So Excited is only 90 minutes long, and it doesn't waste a moment. The director juggles more than a dozen major characters—inevitably, each has some melodramatic backstory—while maintaining a rigorous sense of space. (He treats confined spaces as a creative challenge, finding a new way to combine colors and visual motifs in each sequence.) A master filmmaker, he manages to make all this look easy.

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