Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
an Almodóvar farce about, well, about women on the verge of a
|Did I mention that the ex-husband of the third woman is also the ex-lover of the first, and that his son (Antonio Banderas, looking like the ultimate Geek) is the new boyfriend of the second? And that the son just showed up to rent a room from the first.||
there is the entrepreneurial peroxided cab driver who loves mambo
music and leopard skins, the people that miss each other by seconds, the pitcher full of
gazpacho and barbiturates, people falling off ledges, an apartment full
of live chickens, the mad gunfight cum car chase through the streets
of Madrid, the flaming bed, and did I mention at least two times when
people jump into a cab and shout "follow that cab"?
It's actually a pretty dumb movie, but fun. It is a big extravagant, silly, flamboyant, colorful, slapstick farce, and I laughed through the whole thing when I wasn't marveling at the beauty and composition of the images. Imagine a 1930's Carole Lombard movie in bright vivid colors and moved from New York to Madrid. Stir in high-camp music and minor characters and, voila!
My favorite moment was a commercial seen on TV, unrelated to the action. Carmen Maura plays a soap opera actress, the mother of a murderer in the soap story, and she spins this premise off to do commercials in her soap opera character. The one I loved was a detergent ad. The murderous son comes home from a hard day of serial killing, his clothing soaked in blood. But mom washes his clothes in new Super Omo, and by the time the cops arrive, his shirt is whiter than white, without a trace of evidence. The cops are disappointed about the arrest, but really impressed with the detergent, and resolve to switch over at their own households.
That pretty much gives you the idea.
Tuna's comments in yellow
Women on the Verge of
a Nervous Breakdown (1988) is a comedy written and directed by noted
filmaker Pedro Almodóvar. This is considered one of his better films,
and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language film. For me,
the film never reached the level of funny. It was, however,
beautifully shot, and well acted. It had more the feel of a stage play
than a film, with very large characters, and not much action.
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