Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
(Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios)
Carmen Maura, Antonio Banderas, Julieta Serrano, Maria Barranco,
Longtime Almodóvar icon Carmen Maura is but one of many women on the verge in Almodóvar’s international breakthrough, a riotous blend of screwball comedy, fifties melodramas, Spanish soap operas, and high-eighties fashion that’s “as crowd-pleasing as it is color-coordinated” (J. Hoberman). Brokenhearted and breaking down, Pepa (Maura) must deal with a parade of similarly unhinged characters who assemble in her pastel-walled, brightly decorated Madrid flat (shot like something from a Rock Hudson/Doris Day film). Feminist lawyers, terrorists, clueless cops, and a young Antonio Banderas amplify the madness in this “brilliantly funny, sensual, and glittering celebration of women” (David Denby).