This often hilarious, irreverent and offbeat comedy is the most coherent young Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar has limned thus far. The dilemma of a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown after breaking up with a married man is fascinatingly treated in a comic vein. Almodovar understands his women, and there always is underlying sympathy for them, even when he turns their personal tragedies into whimsy.

This often hilarious, irreverent and offbeat comedy is the most coherent young Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar has limned thus far. The dilemma of a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown after breaking up with a married man is fascinatingly treated in a comic vein. Almodovar understands his women, and there always is underlying sympathy for them, even when he turns their personal tragedies into whimsy.

Central character is Pepa, superbly played by the helmer’s Muse, Carmen Maura. Using mostly the interior of her apartment as the scenario of the action, Almodovar introduces her zany girlfriend, then the son of the man who has jilted Pepa, his outraged wife, a second girlfriend, two policemen, a distaff lawyer and a gay taxi driver.

Pic winds after an amusing taxi vs motorcycle race to the airport, where one of the ‘nervous’ women is collared by the police after trying to shoot her husband (who had been Pepa’s lover).

Good production values, crisp lensing, fine editing and mock-heroic music all add up to a thoroughly enjoyable film.

Mujeres Al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios

Spain

Production

El Deseo/Lauren. Director Pedro Almodovar; Producer Agustin Almodovar; Screenplay Pedro Almodovar; Camera Jose Luis Alcaine; Editor Jose Salcedo; Music Bernardo Bonezzi

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1988. Running time: 87 MIN.

With

Carmen Maura Antonio Banderas Fernando Guillen Julieta Serrano Maria Barranco Rossy de Palma

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