Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
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Top Customer Reviews
In any other hands WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN would collapse into mere frantic farce, but Almodovar directs Carmen Marua and an ensemble cast to a brilliant series of plausible performances that allows the viewer to buy into the story, improbabilities and all--and the result is a hilarious, touching, and fascinating film that is considerably more than the sum of its parts. This is certainly comedy at its most sophistocated, splashed with social satire and spangled with a touch of symbolism for those inclined to seek it.
A number of motifs run through the film--recorded voices, telephones, and the color red are but a few examples--but Almodovar doesn't force his audience to deconstruct his film in order to enjoy it, and WOMEN ON THE VERGE is easily one of the funniest European films of the past fifty years. Those who expect farce plain and simple or who like their movies to tie up into a neat package by the time the credits roll may be disappointed--but if you can make a leap of faith and meet the film on its own terms you'll find it sly, witty, often laugh-out-loud funny... and it will leave you with a feel-good afterglow too. Strongly, strongly recommended.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
The opening scenes are dreamlike, colorful and only when you watch this for the second time do you fully understand the implications of all the movie making episodes and why Ivan is walking by woman after woman saying exactly what they want to hear.
In this movie, there are a number of women who are involved with a number of men they should be running from instead of pursuing them endlessly in the hopes of returned affection.
While I started watching this in English, you might also tend to agree it is best watched with the Castilian audio track and the subtitles of your choice.
This story really begins with Pepa (Carmen Maura) oversleeping and hearing the love of her life leave a message on her answering machine asking her to pack all his things in a suitcase because he is leaving on a trip. Pepa does what any sane woman would do and tosses out everything that reminds her of Ivan. Except it takes almost the entire movie for this to happen. We wonder how she would have reacted if she had not wanted to tell Ivan she was pregnant.
Candela (Maria Barranco) is one of her best friends she is trying to avoid so she can deal with her own heartbreak. Candela is running from the law and needs a safe place to escape to until she can figure out how to warn the world about a Shiite terrorist attack she found out about from her ex. Eventually Candela makes her way to Pepa's penthouse just as Pepa is flying out the door.
Each woman is vulnerable in various ways. Lucia deals with her rejection in violent ways, Pepa by looking for her boyfriend endlessly and Candela by trying to jump from the balcony of Pepa's penthouse.Read more ›
As though Pepa's day weren't bad enough, because her lover Ivan has just broken up with her, and she's found out she's pregnant by him, people keep entering her life with strange demands on this day.
First is her friend Candela, who is running from her Arab muslim boyfriend; he has turned out to be a shiite terrorist. After that, many new people pop up when least expected, each a little closer to a nervous breakdown than the last. And each, it would seen, more determined to push Pepa over the edge, but she somehow keeps her cool, and makes it through the day.
Pepa is the one person in this film who seems to have the "right" to completely breakdown, and yet she is the sanest
This is screwball comedy (plus sex) just like Leo McCarey and Ernst Lubitsch used to make. I congratulate Almadovar on capturing this tenor. Recent American attempts to revive this style have usually digressed into tar pits of lame yet gross sex jokes, or played like two hour sit-coms. This film is quick and light, and none of the actors ever step outside their characters to say to the audience "Look at me! I'm being funny!" which is the scourge of this type of film.
I laugh myself to tears watching this film; I quite literally fell out of my seat once. And this is with repeated viewings.
I love this film.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My favorite Almodovar film. Crazy, humorous and endearing fun, without the morbid side of some of his earlier films, nor the heavy seriousness of the later ones. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Charles C Lee
Pedro Almodóvar changed his menu in 1987 when he set up his own production company, El Deseo and made the deliriously spiced-up calorie-heavy melodrama The Law of Desire. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Film Buff
This is the best fun packed into less than 2 hours you'll find around!!! I saw this 20+ years ago when it was released and it is even more funny and more entertaining than ever. Read morePublished 4 months ago by PSMichael
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