Los amantes pasajeros [I’m So Excited] (2013)

Los amantes pasajeros
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Writer: Pedro Almodóvar
Cast: Javier Cámara, Carlos Areces, Raúl Arévalo, Lola Dueñas, Hugo Silva, Antonio de la Torre, José Luis TorrijoBlanca Suárez, Penélope Cruz, Antonio Banderas

[TRIGGER WARNING]

Plot:
Peninsula Flight 2549 is in trouble. So instead of going to Mexico, they are flying circles above Toledo, waiting for a specially prepared landing strip. The crew has sedated the tourist class and now has to deal with the increasingly worried and extremely eccentric business class. With the help of drugs and gallows humor, everything is quickly revolving around sex.

Los amantes pasajeros is for the most part pretty funny. But it also drags on, is chock full with stereotypes and has two rapes that are treated not only as a joke but also as the romantic start of a relationship, so I can’t really give it a pass.

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[SPOILER]

I did like the flight attendants. They were fun. But you can hardly decide which one of them was more camp. And they kept referring to each other as “girls” and I just… there is nothing wrong with being camp. And if gay guys want to call each other girls, I won’t stand in their way. But it is problematic since that is usually the only version of gayness we get and then we’re supposed to laugh about it. It’s pretty much also the case here and I just expected more from an Almodóvar film.

But even more problematic for me was the scene where the entire first class gets high and horny. People start sleeping with each other. Among those is a freshly married couple, where he’s coherent but she’s drugged so much out of her mind (after he gave her more drugs even though she said she didn’t want any), she doesn’t know what she’s doing. And apparently she’s a sex-sleepwalker so she starts screwing with her husband, who encourages this. And okay, maybe they have an agreement like that where she gave him a blanket “OK, sleep with me when I do this.” But it’s still extremely icky and that is not even mentioning the fact that he freaking drugged her against her will.

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But that wasn’t the only rape during that scene. There’s also Bruna (Lola Dueñas), who nobody wants to sleep with in business class. So she heads back to economy, where she saw a sleeping dude with a hard-on and she just rapes him. When he wakes up during sex, he’s of course excited about this, because dudes are always excited about sex or something. After the flight, the two of them are shown holding hands and I just wanted to retch.

Apart from that it was okay. It had some very nice jokes, it looked great and even if it dragged a bit, I did enjoy large chunks of it. But those rape jokes I can’t put away lightly.

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Summarising: Rather watch a different Almodóvar.

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