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What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1984)
"¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto!!" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  30 March 1985 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 5,297 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 19 critic

In Madrid, the housewife Gloria lives in a tiny apartment with her husband, the taxi driver and forger Antonio; her lunatic mother-in-law, who is addicted in bottled water and cupcakes; and... See full summary »

Director:

(as Pedro Almodovar)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gloria
Luis Hostalot ...
Polo
Ryo Hiruma ...
Profesor Kendo
Ángel de Andrés López ...
Antonio (as Angel de Andres-Lopez)
Gonzalo Suárez ...
Lucas Villalba (as Gonzalo Suarez)
...
Cristal
Juan Martínez ...
Toni
Chus Lampreave ...
Abuela
Kiti Mánver ...
Juani (as Kiti Manver)
Sonia Hohmann ...
Vanessa (as Sonia Anabela Holimann)
...
Chica anuncio
Diego Caretti ...
Chico anuncio
José Manuel Bello ...
Colega barrio
...
Play-Back 'La bien pagá' (as Almodovar-McNamara)
Fabio McNamara ...
Play-Back 'La bien pagá' (as Almodovar-McNamara)
Edit

Storyline

In Madrid, the housewife Gloria lives in a tiny apartment with her husband, the taxi driver and forger Antonio; her lunatic mother-in-law, who is addicted in bottled water and cupcakes; and two teenage sons, one of them a drug dealer and the other gay. Gloria works as cleaning lady to raise some money for her dysfunctional family and is addicted in pills; her best friend is her neighbor, the call-girl Cristal. Antonio has a secret passion on a decadent German singer for whom he had worked as driver in Germany. A writer tries to convince Antonio to forge letters from Hitler and travels to Germany to meet the singer to invite her to participate in the scheme. Meanwhile Gloria delivers her gay son to a pervert dentist. Her mother-in-law finds a lizard while walking with her grandson on the street and they call it Dinero (Money) and bring it home. When Gloria has an argument with Antonio, she hits him on the head with a piece of wood, killing him. Now the police detectives investigate the... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

singer | german | germany | lizard | money | See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

30 March 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

What Have I Done to Deserve This?  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

ESP 116,730,182 (Spain)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ángela Molina turned down the role of Cristal. See more »

Quotes

Miguel: [back home after being given in adoption to a pedophiliac dentist] At first it was fun, but I am too young to be tied down.
See more »

Connections

References Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Girls Like Mom (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

La bien pagá
Written by Ramón Perelló and Juan Mostazo
Performed by Miguel de Molina
See more »

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User Reviews

Narrative Eye
30 July 2006 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

I loved this. It isn't so great compared to later projects where he knows how to use knives instead of chalk. And he decides to understand women, instead of understanding their luggage.

But this is better in a way because you can see the man, what a friend calls the exposed plumbing of what later would become a polished structure.

Stories in Almodovar's soul, that wonderful soul, appear first as images that only after they crack their shells into the fluttering wind of sight do they loose into their narrative trajectory. Sight first, then narrative. But because the narrative comes directly from the cinematic, it flows with an unusual naturalness. It drives into complexities, even emotion depths. It becomes surreal in places, but it all seems natural because it flows from the image within.

And that gives us another advantage. Nearly all films about love and women begin all their major strokes from the written or spoken word and the situations that grow out of them. That means in film that we are stuck with a limited vocabulary and set of patterns that not only dull with repetition, but aren't cinematic at root.

Even in this early film, you can see that because these eyesweets were never touched by pen, they are all fresh without leaving what we accept as true. Its quite an achievement.

The standout performance? A ten year old redhead with "powers," and around whom everything happens. She may be the cause.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


16 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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