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Pedro Almodovar's 1985 Spanish film taps into 80s mainstream American humor, with its emphasis on comic underreaction to bizarre events and disconnected, skitlike structure. But the central figure—a put-upon lower-middle-class housewife played with a nice balance of exhaustion and appeal by Carmen Maura—represents a provocative minority viewpoint that's unusual for the genre, and the events that Almodovar has spun around her (her taxi-driver husband is secretly in love with a German opera singer, her youngest son moves in with a gay dentist, and her mother-in-law collects sticks and lizards while dreaming of a return to her native village) spring from the same Spanish reserve of the improbable and hallucinatory that Buñuel explored (though much more profoundly). Diverting, with a light suggestion of talent. In Spanish with subtitles. 101 min.

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