W is for Women’s Pictures
Mix one part Doris Day–Technicolor frivolity with the melodrama of Nicholas Ray’s Johnny Guitar, shake with an ample portion of screwball comedy, and update the film’s location to Madrid circa 1988—the result is this farcical hit comedy by Pedro Almodóvar. Soap star Pepa (Almodóvar favorite Carmen Maura) is losing her mind because her lover, Iván, is leaving her. Iván’s wife goes on a gun-toting rampage when she finds out. Meanwhile, Pepa’s friend Candela needs a place to hide because she has unwittingly fallen for a Shiite terrorist. At Pepa’s, she meets Iván’s son Carlos (Banderas), whose fiancée has been drugged by Pepa’s Valium-laced gazpacho. Confusing? Absolutely. But how can you resist a film where kindly grandmothers make the nightly news and the mother of a notorious killer endorses detergent?