Presented by Christopher Llewellyn Reed, chair, Film & Moving Image Department, Stevenson University
As are many of Almodóvar’s films, this one is partially set in the world of filmmaking, though that is merely a backdrop to this wild ride of a manic romantic dramedy, which easily lives up to the promise of its title. Carmen Maura, an early muse of the director, plays actress Pepa, who wakes up to discover that her lover, the older charmer Iván (also an actor) has left her for another woman (or so she suspects). Meanwhile, Iván’s ex-wife, Lucía (Julieta Serrano), has just been released from the mental institution where she has been living since he left her, years ago. As Pepa and Lucía each try desperately to find Iván, they interact with a colorful cast of characters that includes Lucía’s son (with Iván), Carlos (a young, pre-Hollywood Antonio Banderas); Carlos’ emotionally reserved fiancée Marisa (Rossy de Palma); and Pepa’s friend Candela (Julieta Serrano), whose recent sexual encounter with a handsome terrorist further complicates matters (as does her reciprocated attraction to Carlos). All the disparate, interconnected threads come smashing together at the end into a grand tapestry of melodrama and farce, the perfect representation of this stage of the director’s career.
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