Tremors – Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown – tape 865

This tape opens with Channel 4 and the opening of Sticky Moments. I clearly wasn’t interested in keeping that recording, though, as it’s almost immediately overwritten by a recording from the Movie Channel, Tremors.

This is a great, great movie, and I watched it a while ago on another tape, where it wasn’t marked, so I won’t repeat myself here.

Instead, let’s look at the second film on this tape,also from The Movie Channel, Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown. I confess I have never watched a single Pedro Almodovar film, so I hope I like it.

This opening shot makes me wonder if I’ve accidentally put Thunderbirds on again.

I always find it harder to concentrate on subtitled films, as I do have to give them more attention. I was having trouble with this one for a while, as it wasn’t really clicking for me, but I perked up by the end.

Carmen Maura plays Pepa, an actor who’s just split up from the older actor she was seeing, Ivan, and he’s not returning her calls. She’s not taking it well.

Antonio Banderas plays Carlos, who is her ex, Ivan’s young son, from his previous partner. Rossy de Palma is his girlfriend Marisa. After bumping into Pepa on the street when she’s spying on Ivan’s apartment, they turn up at her apartment next day because she’s subletting it, and their estate agent sent them.

Pepa isn’t there, but her friend Candela is (Maria Barranco).

Candela has her own problems, and tries to jump off Pepa’s balcony.

She’s in trouble because an ex boyfriend turned out to be a Shiite terrorist, and he brought two of his co-terrorists to her flat the weekend before, and now they’ve been arrested so Candela is convinced she’ll be arrested for harbouring terrorists.

Pepa visits the feminist lawyer Paulina Morales, to ask for advice for Candela. She’s rather unhelpful – in fact she’s rather hostile to Candela’s plight. I wonder if ‘Shiite’ is a naturally funny word in Spanish? Or if that’s a change in made for the subtitles, and it’s a totally different word in the Spanish dialogue.

We later learn that Paulina represented Carlos’ mother when she sued Ivan, but the case failed. And now, that Paulina is Ivan’s new lover, and they’re travelling to Stockholm together. On a flight that’s possibly going to be hijacked by Shiites.

More visitors to the flat. This time it’s Carlos’ mother, and two policemen wanting to know about the call they made earlier about the hijacking. This is really where the feeling of farce kicks into high gear and I really started enjoying the film.

Carlos’ mother is out for revenge against Ivan. She was in a mental hospital with no memory until she heard his voice on TV, now she’s back and wants revenge.

There’s even a car chase, as the mother hijacks a motorbike to get to the airport.

Pepa stops her killing anyone, and then, even when Ivan says he’s sorry for leaving her, she tells him she’s finished with him.

It’s a peculiar film, definitely, but I can see why people enjoyed it. It has a lovely surreal side to it

The tape ends right after the movie.


  • Back in Time
  • trail: Dead Reckoning
  • trail: The Kissing Place
  • Sentimental Journey
  • trail: Dead Reckoning
  • trail: Q&A
  • trail: Texasville

One comment

  1. Kind of worrying to think Pedro Almodovar is 70 this year. Tremendous head of hair for a man of his age. Anyway, Women on the Verge is one of his better films, I prefer when he’s using his sense of humour, though that said The Skin I Live in has no laughs and is really good. Will he win at Cannes this year?

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