I hear it all the time. "Sometimes I want to just go to a movie, turn off, and have a good time."
It's usually in defence of a bad film.
Well, I have one for you that manages to be a fun release that doesn't require any heavy thought and it actually a pretty good movie to boot.
I'm So Excited is the newest from acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. The fact that it's named for a Pointer Sisters song and three male flight attendants perform a lip-sync routine to the tune while in flight may very well be all you need to know. Check your local listings, pick a time, and get down to the theater. Oh, if only they sold margaritas in multiplexes!
For those who are maybe looking for a little bit more than that very simple pleasure, then don't worry: I'm So Excited has plenty more. Almodóvar has set his light farce on a jumbo jet flying from Madrid to Mexico. To be more accurate, it's set in the under-populated business section, where the rich can whine and moan about their high-falutin' problems. Flying today are a washed-up actor (Guillermo Toledo), a disgraced banker (José Luis Torrijo), a high-class madame (Cecilia Roth), and a middle-aged virgin with precognitive powers (Lola Dueñas). There are also the party-boy flight attendants, including head steward Joserra (Javier Cámara). He is having an affair with the married pilot (Antonio de la Torre), who also had a drunken one-night stand with his co-pilot (Hugo Silva). A lot of alcohol gets consumed by this crew. A lot of alcohol, pills, and other narcotics.
Surprisingly, it's none of this behavior that has gotten the flight in trouble this time around. Rather, happy, life-affirming news on the ground, via a cameo from Almodóvar regulars Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz, has criss-crossed with the normal routine, and not all the right precautions were taken. One set of landing gear will not come down, and while they wait for news of a location for an emergency setdown, passengers and crew deal with their personal issues, get ripped on mescaline-spiked punch, and have a minor orgy. It's like Hitchcock's Lifeboat, but with narcotics instead of nazis.
Know enough now? Sure, it's maybe a minor notch in the filmmaker's reel, a bit like more recent Woody Allen in terms of the director's oeuvre, but everyone needs to cut loose now and then (particularly after his last work, the creepy The Skin I Live In, I assume Pedro wanted a break). I'm So Excited is light and fluffy and more than a little naughty. It's shot with Almodóvar's trademark candy-coated irreverence, and performed with such perverse glee, you'll likely find it a real challenge not to enjoy yourself.
But go ahead. Test it. Go watch I'm So Excited and see once and for all who really has a stick up their butt: you or me. Meanwhile, I'll be over here sipping on a salt-rim and shaking my unstuck booty.