Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|What Have I Done to Deserve This|
Actors: Carmen Maura, Gonzalo Suárez, Luis Hostalot, Ryo Hiruma, Ángel de Andrés López
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
5.1 subtitle control
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Dark Humor Gives the Film its Edge
Michelle | Winnipeg, MB, Canada | 11/13/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a North American, one is subject to films which are essentially shallow, mindless and repetitious. Rarely is there a film that comes as a surprise. However, Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto offers a completely different cinematic experience. Pedro Almodovar's use of dark humor in Qué he hecho yo is what I found most appealing. The film takes a peek into the lives of the members of a poor working class family and explores their many problems in a tragic but comic way. The film opens with a shot of an enormous apartment complex similar to "the Projects" of the United States defining the films dark aspects and the tragic situation of the family. Soon, the close up takes us into the tiny apartment which is decorated in humorously bad taste, "kitsch". This allows the audience to relax and laugh as it reveals the film's dark humor. Furthermore, the film deals with subjects such as prostitution, child molestation, adultery, murder, drug addiction, and poverty. What I found most interesting was the way in which Almodovar manages to poke fun at these issues. A North American film would never even dare to mention child molestation unless it suggested that the criminal would end up dead, however Qué he hecho yo presents a mother who allows her young son to live with his homosexual dentist after he makes advances towards the boy at his practice. Interestingly, it is one of the films funniest moments. Hence, the film is truly a must see for anyone wishing to escape the monotony of American cinema and who enjoys an unconventional dark comedy."
One of Almodovar's Best Films
Cindy Jimenez | Toa Alta, PR Puerto Rico | 04/16/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is certainly not his first film(Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del monton, is his first film). It's a great film that deals with one, if not his favorite subject, women, but not ordinary ones. This housewife(the extraordinary Carmen Maura) deals with all sorts of problems such as her son's preferences for older men, her mother in law's new mascot( a lizard called dinero, money in Spanish) and her husband's murder all in a very hard financial situation and with the help of a very original neighbor. This is certainly one of Almodovar's best films!"
S. Sommerville | Raleigh, NC | 02/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Almodovar classic from the early 80's is an excellent dark comedy. Great characters such as the next door prostitute, the little redhead girl with telekinetic powers, the cheap grandma, the impotent policeman, the gay dentist, the two writers, and so on make for an interesting watch. Many classic lines are found in this one, like the newlywed who gets her face burnt from her husband spilling coffee on her "I'll never forget that cup of coffee" and "I'm diabetic? oh, I always forget at dinner time?"
This film is not really driven by plot, but rather by the characters' lives. Like all Almodovar movies, it is a piece of art, a meditation and a comical look at life, sexual orientation, coincidence, destiny and love."
Highly surreal black comedy
Manny Hernandez | Bay Area, CA | 04/24/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This movie can and will make you laugh. Picture the highly disfunctional family living in Madrid in the mid-eighties: the overworked mom who is addicted to amphetamines; a chauvinistic cab-driving dad, who is infatuated with a love of his younger years, and beats his wife; a crazy grandma with a pet lizard, who is obsessed with going back to the town where she came from; the drug-dealing 14 year-old son who makes more money than both his parents combined; and the youngest son who gives sexual favors to men of age. Take them, add the wackiest neighbors (a chatty prostitute who has the most unexpected customers; and a childbeating single-mother with a daughter with special powers), and you are bound to be shocked left and right, unless you are able to see beyond the obvious. Almodovar's making a statement (or an over-statement at that), about how urban life is bound to deteriorate family life as the bread providers struggle to make ends meet.
With a more humorous approach to moviemaking than in his recent movies, "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" is a black comedy that can stand well on its own. However, the one problem I have with it is that, in spite of the clear point he's trying to make, too many plot lines are started, many of which are not fully developed. You wonder why such or such scene had to be in the movie, if the character didn't end up being taken anywhere. Either this is the case or this version edited out some important moments in the stories of the different characters, but toward the end, you have an inevitable feel that you missed something in the movie, even if you "get it". Also, I have a problem with some of the elements presented (spoiler ahead), namely the highly surreal way in which the mom gives away her son to his dentist, a man in his thirties who is a clear sexual predator with an obsession for children.
This is why I give it 3 stars. It is far from his best movies, such as "Talk To Her", "All About My Mother", "Bad Education" and "Live Flesh"."