MRR Review: "I'm So Excited"

Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

MRR Review: "I'm So Excited"

-- Rating: R
Length: 90 minutes
Release Date: June 28, 2013
Directed by: Pedro Almodóvar
Genre: Comedy

"I'm So Excited" is one of those rare films that show directors don't need a lot of fancy sets or special effects. Set aboard an airplane, the film looks at what happens when people are afraid of the unknown.

The film opens with a flight crew and a group of unrelated passengers stuck on a plane during a flight to Mexico City. After departing from a Spanish airport, they make it to Mexico without any problems, only to discover that the landing gear won't work. As they fly in circles around the airport, those onboard slowly begin sharing their deepest and darkest secrets. Throw in some over-the-top musical numbers and a few unbelievable characters, and it's clear that this isn't a film for everyone.

"I'm So Excited" is the type of film best viewed with an open mind. Director Almodóvar ("Volver") requires a suspension of disbelief in all of his films. He wants viewers to know that these films take place in a fantasy world where no one would really act the way they do onscreen. Almodóvar likes to push the buttons of viewers, but the issue is that he sometimes doesn't seem to know when to stop.

Early in the film, the flight crew learns of the problem with the landing gear, and they decide that they don't want to deal with the issues of those in economy class. Instead of warning those passengers of the problem, they simply drug them until they pass out. The flight crew then launches into a song and discusses how boring poor people are. This sets up the rest of the film, which focuses on the rich people on the plane. While the setup might seem funny to some, others will find themselves turned off by the film, especially by one scene in particular that involves jokes about rape.

Much of the film involves the cabin crew, all of whom are male. Almodóvar shows each crew member as a campy gay character who would rather break into song than worry about calming down passengers. The title of the film comes from one scene in which the men sing the song "I'm So Excited" as they skip and dance through the aisles.

Almodóvar is at his best when he combines a strong story with a surrealist setting, but he misses the mark at times with "I'm So Excited." When the film is funny, viewers will be rolling in the aisles, but when the humor gets a little too campy, some viewers might roll their eyes or walk away. Almodóvar walks a fine line with his politically incorrect humor, and sometimes, he leans too far in one direction.

While "I'm So Excited" has some flaws, it still has its moments. As the plot unfolds, viewers learn more about the people sitting in the seats. One of the men is a banker who isn't above stealing from his employer, while another passenger actually makes a living as a dominatrix. Viewers also learn about the psychic who has never had a relationship before and the dark secrets of the flight attendants. These characters are interesting and entertaining even if they don't always elicit the laughs the director wants.

The film tends to drag at times, but the moments involving interactions between the passengers are lighthearted and fun. Even the pilots make an appearance in the film, if only to talk about their own sexual deviations. "I'm So Excited" features some strong actors who clearly know that the plot is all in good fun. Their performance helps viewers to take a step back and view the film in a different light.

Almodóvar has created some of the most visually stunning films of the last few years, and he manages to do the same with "I'm So Excited." The bright colors and bold patterns in the background will have viewers smiling, and Almodóvar does a smart job of occasionally showing flashbacks or other scenes to break up the monotony of life on the plane.

"I'm So Excited" is a film for fans of Almodóvar's previous work. The politically incorrect jokes and sexual moments won't surprise anyone who has seen one of his previous films, but those who haven't experienced his work in the past might feel taken aback. With its campy acting, bright sets, and unusual jokes, the film has its moments, but it isn't the type of film that everyone will enjoy.

Rating: 2 out of 5