As with most Almodóvar at this stage of his career, there’s a certain air of shock for shock’s sake—rather as if he’s seeing if it’s even possible to go too far in post-Franco Spain. Yet, there’s such a good-natured attitude to it all that it’s somehow outrageous without ever being genuinely offensive. The key to this, I think, lies in Almodóvar’s complete refusal to judge his characters. They are who they are. They probably have their reasons, and he lets it go at that. It’s all funny and subversive and terrifically entertaining. It’s not Almodóvar at the height of his powers, but you can see him edging in that direction.
The Asheville Film Society will screen What Have I Done to Deserve This? Tuesday, March 1, at 8 p.m. in Theater Six at The Carolina Asheville, hosted by Xpress movie critic Ken Hanke.