Paola Ardizzoni & Emilio Pereda
Owen Gleiberman
July 05, 2013 AT 04:00 AM EDT

I'm So Excited

Current Status
In Season
95 minutes
Limited Release Date
Antonio Banderas, Javier Camara, Penelope Cruz
Pedro Almodovar
Sony Pictures Classics

We gave it a B-

Pedro Almodóvar’s I’m So Excited! is set mostly on board a commercial airliner flying from Barcelona to Mexico City. The plane’s interior is designed in airy light colors?baby blues, soft browns, and reds?that evoke the ”Fly me!” ’60s, and that’s not the only thing about the film that’s strikingly retro. So is Almodóvar’s whole vision of sexual and emotional outrageousness. I’m So Excited! features three gay flight attendants who don’t just walk, they flounce (there’s no other word for it), and it’s a little disquieting to behold what relics of high-camp bitchery they are. At one point they do a musical number, lip-synching to the title song by the Pointer Sisters, and Almodóvar, letting his camera dance and fly, makes you realize that he should do a musical. But the rest of the film is like a helium balloon with a leak in it.

As the plane hovers over Toledo, due to some strange runway crisis in Mexico, the people flying economy class get drugged with sleeping pills, and we spend most of the movie with the business-class passengers and the flight crew. There’s a world-weary dominatrix, a middle-aged virgin who gets it on with one of the sleeping passengers, a bisexual pilot, and also his straight co-pilot, who is, in fact, unconsciously gay. The actors are charming, but the comedy of repression and liberation is so weightless that the laughs teeter into yawns. B?

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