I'm always ready to be captivated by a Pedro Almodovar film. When life itself spins out of control, becomes too much of a farce, I know where to turn for an appropriate antidote. It doesn't matter that this movie came out in 1988. Farce began when doors were invented.
"Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown", contains the full compliment of dumped lovers, cheating sweethearts, obsessive longings and all the over the top exaggeration that for some reason, heightens, doesn't diminish its humanity.
The great Carmen Maura (Pepa), is dumped by her lover, Ivan, (who's wife is just being released form a mental institution, in a fright wig, no less) for another girl friend. Pepa is broken hearted, contemplates suicide, spikes the gazpacho with sleeping pills, forgets to take it, (but it doesn't go to waste), sets fire to her bed, (accidentally), is accosted by wife with pistol, somehow runs into a very young and adorable and dumb Antonio Banderas, not only pretty, but pretty hilarious.
Oh yes, and terrorists. Over the top decor, cartoon colors and fashion, and tabloid style betrayal. Great and sincere acting! That everything comes together at the end is not a spoiler. Just what we hope for from a screwball comedy.
All this and English subtitles. Well worth it. Remember, this film was made way back in 1988. Nothing's changed. Almodovar only gets better. Nowadays Penelope Cruz is his muse. What a thing to be!