Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)

Pedro Almodóvar made his international breakthrough through this chaotic screwball melodrama

The Very Best

8.0

Movie

Spain
Spanish
Comedy, Drama
1988
PEDRO ALMODÓVAR
Agustín Almodóvar, Ana Leza, Ángel de Andrés López
88 min

TLDR

I didn’t realize I needed to see Antonio Banderas with fluffy, fluffy curls…

What it's about

After her lover leaves her, voice actress Pepa Marcos embarks on a journey to figure out why, going through a chaotic series of events and meeting various eccentric personalities.

The take

Break-ups aren’t the easiest thing to overcome, but how we deal with them usually doesn’t get as ludicrous as the events Pepa goes through in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. The film makes said nervous breakdown chaotic– it includes spiked gazpacho, a frantic call to the police, and being held at gunpoint– but as Pepa and the women around her try to put off each fire, at least one of them literally, writer-director Pedro Almodóvar ensures sympathy for them, with Pepa's snappy dialogue cutting through the lies of a smooth-talking womanizer refusing to face them. And it’s all paired with a suitably dramatic score, meticulous staging, and exaggerated, colorful frames mostly occurring in the wreck of a fabulously styled penthouse.

What stands out

The looks are just as playful as the sequences in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Every outfit has something unusual to it, from Pepa’s all-red ensembles, to Candela’s colorblocked outfit… Even the men have some flair here, with Carlo sporting fluffy, curly hair, and the policeman sporting a green tie on a pink striped shirt. It’s a fun touch to add to the ridiculous events of Women on the Verge.

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