REVIEW: I’m So Excited

1 08 2013

I'm So ExcitedLast summer, Woody Allen’s annual film was retitled “To Rome With Love” after audiences were apparently unfamiliar with the expression that gave the film its second title, “Nero Fiddled.”  So before I use “Nero fiddled while Rome burned” in a review, I figure I ought to give it the proper context.  Nero was emperor of Rome when a great fire broke out (some say because of him); while people suffered, he played his fiddle.

The central joke of Pedro Almodovar’s farce-cum-social satire “I’m So Excited” is that Spain is repeating Nero’s mistake.  If you want to do the unpacking yourself, then stop reading my review after this short verdict: it’s a film that doesn’t deliver the humor you might expect from its ridiculousness.

But if you don’t mind me going one level below the surface, I intend to show you just how simple the film’s metaphor is.  (And mind you, I only know the vaguest details about Spain’s current financial straits.)  The plane is like Spain, divided into economy and business class.  It’s being flown by clueless pilots who have taken the plane into the stratosphere, but the landing gear is broken.  There’s an imminent disaster hovering over Spain that no one knows how to solve … so they fly around in circles.

The riff-raff in the economy class have been given narcotics and are fast asleep.  But while death seems to await, the people in business class start to worry about the most inane things – namely, sex.  And the flight’s three conscious flight attendants certainly aid and abet that process, doing choreographed dances to The Pointer Sisters’ “I’m So Excited.”

The song could have been swapped for “Make ‘Em Laugh” from “Singin’ in the Rain” and had the same effect.  Almodovar’s point is simply that his country has turned to escapism and sexual pleasures to avoid dealing with the real crisis ahead of them.  The Spaniards danced while their plane hovered on the brink of a crash landing.  It’s interesting enough, but the concept wears thin rather quickly – and Almodovar does not bring enough laughs to compensate for his film’s lack of depth.  C+2stars



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