Here's one movie I can guarantee you'll never see on an airplane. Even with opening disclaimers that it is a work of fiction and bears no relationship to reality, Pedro Almodóvar's I'm So Excited! presents an unsettling portrait of mile-high behavior. On a transatlantic flight from Madrid to Mexico City, a technical malfunction is discovered while the plane is in Spanish airspace. This causes the pilot to steer the craft in circles while waiting for clearance to land. It also gives Almodóvar time to run his characters through aimless loops.
I'm So Excited! is something of a return to form for Almodóvar. It's the kind of madcap comedy the filmmaker often made in the earlier part of his career. It's not as zany a frolic as Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, but it's pleasantly amusing, if a bit undercooked. The film is something of a roundelay, bouncing among a handful of characters, each of whom is a piece of work. The story is confined to the half-dozen travelers in business class since the flight attendants have drugged the passengers in coach to keep them zonked out during the flight. The captain and co-pilot down alcohol and explore their bisexuality in the cockpit. Three campy male flight attendants get pretty liquored up as well. A bit of everyone's backstory is revealed, and many drugs are shared. A cute preamble prior to takeoff features Almodóvar mainstays Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz as ground-crew workers.
Even though I'm So Excited! doesn't soar, the film is a fun flight. Maybe it needs a compelling central character for the audience to care about, rather than flitting from one kooky archetype to the next. Or maybe the film is undone by the standards of froth Almodóvar set for himself in previous works. Whatever the case, I'm So Excited! doesn't quite earn the exclamation point in its title.