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Showing 1-10 of 82 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 137 reviews
on August 17, 2016
This is one of my absolute favorite movies and I was so excited that I could download it rather than having to pay a ridiculous price for an imported DVD.

Whether you lived in Spain during the 80s or not, you will find this movie every bit as bizarre as the 80s everywhere actually were. But you will also see a very adorable young Antonio Banderas and that chick whose name I'm always forgetting, not to mention the great Carmen Maura.
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on March 3, 2017
Saw this years ago. Seemed better then, bit still vey good.
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on April 11, 2001
Filmed in the style of the screwball comedies of the 1950's, Pedro Almodovar's classic, "Women on the Verge of the Nervous Breakdown," is widely seen as the Spanish director's greatest directorial effort ever, due to his witty script, wonderful use of colors and schemes, and his ability to capture the range of emotions women possess.
The story, which revolves around a jilted woman (Carmen Maura in her final film collaboration with Almodovar) in search of her lover (Fernando Guillen) might sound like a melodrama at first, however if you mix in a bit of zany subplot and an array of classic characters, and you got yourself a comedy classic.
Pepa (Maura) finds out that her longtime lover Ivan has left her for another woman. Pepa, who works with Ivan dubbing foreign films into Spanish, discovers that she is expecting a child, and must convey this important message to Ivan in hopes of convincing him to return.
In her search for Ivan, she discovers that Ivan's ex-wife Lucia (Julieta Serrano) has been released from the asylum that has taken care of her since her breakup with Ivan. She also discovers that Ivan has a son (Antonio Banderas) she never was told about, and due to a series of coincidental encounters, they encounter each other.
Pepa doesn't seem to be the only person having love problems. Her best friend Candela (Maria Barranco) has discovered that her Arab boyfriend and his friends are actually Shiite terrorists planning to hijack the next flight to Stockholm. Scared, confused, and out of her mind, Candela finds refuge in Pepa's penthouse, and along with Pepa, Carlos (Banderas), and Carlos' fiance (Rossie de Palma), the madcap hysteria that will overtake the later half of the film takes place.
Using a wide selection of colors that benefit from the film's use of Technicolor, Almodovar has definitely creating a visual feats of patterns, objects (notice the clocks at the beginning), cityscapes (Madrid's famous skyline), and especially colors (as the main character, Pepa is identified by reds, which probably is Almodovar's tribute to American director Nicholas Ray and his famous use of Technicolor red in the classic "Rebel Without a Cause"). Other eye-catching objects that make this film truly wonderful include Candela's coffeepot earrings (they became a major fashion accessory in Spain and Latin America in the early 1990's) and the campy cab decor that the driver of the Mambo Taxi (Guillermo Montesinos) has adopted for his cab.
Almodovar also adopted a wide selection of beautiful and popular music and songs to tell his story. "Soy Infeliz," by Lola Beltran and "Puro Teatro," by La Lupe are eternal classics thanks to this film. His selection of the rarely heard, yet beautiful compositions by Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov ("The Story of the Kalandar Prince" from Scheherezade-Symphonic Suite, Op. 35 AND the "Fandango Asturiano," from Capriccio Espagnol. Op. 34) gives the film both a feeling of relaxation and fiery anger.
"Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," marks a totally new direction in Spanish cinema. The end of the censorship that was widely well known during the Franco regime of the past allowed Almodovar and many new Spanish directors to explore filmmaking without any restrictions. This film, which was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards in 1989, went on to win many awards including several Goya awards (Spain's highest film awards) and Maura went on to win Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival. Truly, this was her greatest role, and Almodovar knew that he wanted to give his audience a major overdose of Maura that the audience will likely beg for more. He was right, and Maura's performance is considered to be one of the greatest performances by non-English speaking actress in recent years.
If you're looking for an amazing, funny, and visual film, then "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" is the best choice to fulfill your search. I have seen this movie over 30 times, and I can't get tired of it. It is a true cult classic, and it only illustrates the genius that Almodovar is. The DVD edition contains English, French, and Spanish subtitles and the film's promotional trailers.
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on December 13, 2010
I watched this film again after some years, and I am still struck by the artistry of the camera work. This film has also always had an instant comedic appeal for the absolute madcap moments and the bizarre story line that weaves the lives of three women and their crises together. Yet, after a number of viewings and the passage of time, I am more than ever struck by the subtle strength the lead character, Pepa, conveys in a world of machismo. I believe it takes several viewings, or perhaps a little bit more cultural knowledge of Spain than I had before, to understand how subtle this expression of strength and perseverance actually is. This is a sort of subtle protest film, not anything like an outspoken American feminist would create or expect. Instead this film is simple, sincere, and subtle. Under all that simple and wry hilarity is a deep expression of women truly struggling to express themselves, be themselves, and find themselves, in a male dominated society. I believe that it is an excellent film both men and women can appreciate and enjoy.
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on July 15, 2017
Almodovar is perhaps considered one of the best auteurs alive today. This movie was my first introduction to Pedro Almodovar. I saw it on cable in the 90s after it was nominated for best foreign film at the Oscars and I understood immediately why it got rave reviews and an Oscar nod. Ever since then, I was in awe of him as a film maker and was immediately hooked. I thought only a director with a genius mind could ever tell a fascinating and intricate storyline with very intriguing characters that leave you wanting to know and see more of. Needless to say, it made an indelible impression.
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on November 5, 2015
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. The basic plot of this move is obsolete in the era of the cell phone (landline phones figure prominently), but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable.
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on April 23, 2017
Best movie ever
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on September 12, 2017
A classic. I use this in my Spanish courses that I teach.
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on September 15, 2017
Esoteric, you have to be a certain type of person to like it, I'm sure, but I love this movie.
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on October 7, 2015
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. Watch this and laugh your a** off! :-)
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