Thursday, August 15, 2013

I'm So Excited (Rhoades)

Reviewed by Shirrell Rhoades

What will they come up with next? A comedy based on the sinking of the Titanic? A musical about the Hindenburg Disaster?
Here we have a funny comedy about an airplane having an inflight emergency. And its counterintuitive title is “I’m So Excited.”
Maybe you’d be excited too if you were on board Peninsula Flight 2549. Following a technical failure, the pilots and the control tower are trying to find a safe solution for the planeload of passengers.
Not funny, you say? Well, you laughed when the Zucker brothers did “Airplane!”
This Spanish production from Pedro Almodóvar (“The Skin We Live In”) features his regulars -- Penelope Cruz, Antonio Banderas, and Agustín Almodóvar -- along with Javier Cámara, Lola Dueñas, Cecilia Roth, Raúl Arévalo, and Carlos Areces.
This movie marks Banderas’s 7th collaboration with Almodóvar and Cruz’s 5th. However, this will be the first time they have appeared in an Almodóvar movie together.
What should flight attendants do when a plane may be going down? With lots of sexual situations, they and the chief steward devote themselves “body and soul to the task of making the flight as enjoyable as possible for the passengers.”
According to Almodóvar, the film has two key themes: sex and death. The original Spanish title (“Los amantes pasajeros") says it all. A double entendre, you can translate it as “the fleeting lovers” or “the passenger lovers.”
The US title (“I’m So Excited”) comes from the Pointer Sisters’ song, used in the film’s bouncy soundtrack. I heard the Pointer Sisters perform it live in Las Vegas, and it’s spirited enough to have passengers dancing in the aisle … or joining the Mile High Club.
The bisexual pilots (Antonio de la Torre and Hugo Silva) are a riot. The bizarre assortment of passengers will hold your attention. And the guys in the control tower (including Almodóvar’s brother Agustín) will have you laughing.
No, not the same kind of parody as “Airplane!” but what Rotten Tomatoes calls “campy, frothy, and proudly absurd.”
Or as Pedro Almodóvar puts it, “a light, very light comedy.” After all, the entire flight crew is going down on this plane.

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