Pedro’s 11 Year Punchline

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Warning: minor plot spoiler for Volver below.

You think Pedro Almodóvar has comic timing? How about delivering a punchline eleven years later?

I just watched his 1995 film, The Flower of My Secret last night, and finally got a joke he must’ve been waiting years to tell.

In the film, the tortured romance novelist protagonist Leo, is berated by one of her editors for turning in a ridiculous manuscript called “Cold-Storage Room” about a mother whose daughter murders her husband because he tries to rape her, and she hides the body in her neighbor’s restaurant storage freezer. We learn that an unauthorized film is being made of the book, which was evidently so horrible, Leo had failed to even copywright it.

Eleven years later, welcome to the introductory plot to Almodóvar’s newest film, Volver, starring Penelope Cruz as said mother.

Only someone as accomplished and rebellious and downright brazen as Almodóvar would use his own silly plot grist from a film over a decade ago as a key ingredient for what will undoubtedly be praised as one of his finest works yet.  Having seen it in Madrid several months ago, I thought it was fantastic, but I watched it without subtitles so it’s possible I misunderstood the entire thing.

I’m sure that any Almodóvar fan has already recognized this, and that he’s mentioned it a thousand times in interviews, but I sure laughed out loud. Funny, Pedro. Clearly, the joke is on us.

~ by Jeff on September 19, 2006.

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