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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 »

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(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)
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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:

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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Esperanza Roy and Concha Velasco turned down the role of Gloria. 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

Features Splendor in the Grass (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Nur nicht aus liebe weinen
Written by 'Theo MacKeben', Hans Fritz Beckmann and Wizner Boheme
Performed by Zarah Leander
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another Jewel in Pedro Almodóvar's Crown!
14 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Though the films by one of our geniuses of film-making in our times, Pedro Almodóvar, is making films now that are polished to perfection - Volver (2006), La Mala educación (2004), Hable con ella (2002), and Todo sobre mi madre (1999) - his early films such as this one '¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto!!' in retrospect contained all the identifying marks that would establish him as not only one of the bad boys of cinema, but also one of the sensitive cinematic psychologists. And everything he touches gleams.

In this 1984 story of a wildly dysfunctional family co-habiting in Madrid, the star is Gloria (Carmen Maura), a No-Doz addicted maid living in a tiny flat with her taxi driver/forger husband who perseverates on an aging German chanteuse for whom he once worked, two sons - one a hustler and the other a drug peddler - and a wacko mother-in-law who treats food like contraband, selling what she chooses to the family members. The turning point in this raucously fragile but funny family is the chance to make money: the father is coerced into forging Hitler's memoirs with a little help from his German chanteuse's influence, Gloria bargains with a dentist for her hustler son's possession, ad infinitum!

But leave it to Almodóvar to pull it all off with just the right amount of madness and mayhem, and a jolly dollop of psychology about family interaction and women thrown in for good measure. The cast is a delight (including Almodóvar regulars Cecilia Roth and Verónica Forqué!) and the movie is so fast paced that it feels like a carnival ride - which is very much the way this marvelous director sees his early work. Highly recommended.


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