The first indication that director Pedro Almodovar’s I’m So Excited doesn’t have its feet on the ground comes several minutes after take-off, as the first of many passengers on the flight in which the film is set barges into the cockpit to have a chat with the pilot.
From there on in, I’m So Excited is a barrage of sex, drugs and, well, more sex. Faced with the news their planned journey to Mexico City may end in disaster, passengers and crew alike decide that if there’s a chance they could die, they might as well go out with a bang.
At the centre of it all is the bearish Joserra (Javier Camara), one of three hilariously camp air stewards who spend much of the film swigging spirits and hitting on the male passengers.
“It’s a very crazy film! It was really nice to work on, because we had a lot of new actors – Pedro was really looking for a new generation of comedians,” Camara told the Star Observer.
Having previously appeared in Talk To Her (2002) and Bad Education (2004), Camara is something of an Almodovar veteran – but he insisted he didn’t feel at ease compared to the newbies on set.
“With Pedro, you can never have enough experience; you always need to surprise him and give him 100%. After Talk To Her and Bad Education, I thought I knew all there was to know about being in a Pedro film, but I was wrong. This is my first comedy with him, and I was a little scared,” he said.
So many of the laughs come from the outrageous activities in what is usually such a controlled environment: forget about sneaking off to the toilet to join the mile high club, in this film the passengers don’t bother leaving their seats.
“You know when you’re on a flight, and you sense there’s a problem but the flight attendants are smiling and acting normally, as if nothing’s going on? On this flight, it’s the opposite – the flight attendants are instantly terrified, and they try to solve the situation by dancing, drinking, smoking and having sex. For us, it was a dream – you can do anything with these roles,” he laughed.
That they did: the film’s undoubted highlight comes midway through, as the three flight attendants decide that the only way to distract their passengers from the threat of impending death is with a fierce lip-synched dance routine. Cue the music, and a spectacular dance number to the Pointer Sisters’ I’m So Excited.
“It was hard to shoot, because the set was so narrow – the same size as a plane cabin. We had bruises and carpet burns; we are not professional dancers. One of your Australians, Hugh Jackman – now there’s a man who can do everything: dance, sing, act. We cannot.
“I will say this, though: flight attendants adore us. We are the party in the plane now!”
INFO: I’m So Excited is in cinemas September 19.