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Victor (Liberto Rabal) is a complicated cross between sympathetic and crazy. Because Elena (Francesca Neri), the daughter of an Italian diplomat, makes out with him one night, he becomes obsessed with her and goes to her Madrid apartment uninvited. A neighbor's call brings two police officers (Javier Bardem and Jose Sancho) and their own conflict to the scene, making things even more volatile. The characters in this 1997 story often explain their motives to one another with shocking honesty, appearing intriguingly autonomous and self-aware. But writer-director Pedro Almodovar exposes them mainly so we can watch them play a game of sexual musical chairs. It's all very clever but not really provocative—though a layer of political subtext may make the scenario seem funnier and more meaningful. With Angela Molina. In Spanish with subtitles. R, 110 min.

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