7.6/10
24,636
61 user 43 critic

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)

Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (original title)
A woman's lover leaves her, and she tries to contact him to find out why he's left. She confronts his wife and son, who are as clueless as she. Meanwhile her girlfriend is afraid the police... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 22 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Julieta Serrano ...
Lucía
María Barranco ...
...
Kiti Mánver ...
Paulina Morales (as Kiti Manver)
Guillermo Montesinos ...
Taxista
Chus Lampreave ...
Portera Testiga de Jehová
Eduardo Calvo ...
Padre de Lucía (as Yayo Calvo)
...
Secretaria
Ángel de Andrés López ...
Policía I (as Angel de Andrés-López)
Fernando Guillén ...
Iván
Juan Lombardero ...
Germán
José Antonio Navarro ...
Policía II
Ana Leza ...
Ana
Edit

Storyline

A woman's lover leaves her, and she tries to contact him to find out why he's left. She confronts his wife and son, who are as clueless as she. Meanwhile her girlfriend is afraid the police are looking for her because of her boyfriend's criminal activities. They talk to a female lawyer, who turns out to be the lover's new lover, and everyone's path keeps crossing each other's in a very complicated and confusing manner. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 November 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$7,179,298 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Victoria Abril turned down the role of 'Candela' See more »

Goofs

Pepa pushes the baggage cart at Lucia and it moves with a great deal of speed. However, in the next shot, it's obvious that the cart barely hits her, yet she falls as if it did. See more »

Quotes

PolicÌa I: What's going on?
Pepa: Nothing. Just discussing the lady's dress.
Candela: [in tears] It's awful!
Carlos: It's only a dress.
Candela: But it's awful!
See more »


Soundtracks

Puro teatro
Written by C. Curet Alonso
Performed by La Lupe
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Absurdism brought beautifully to the screen
18 September 2003 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

"Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" is the first in hopefully what will be a long line of Almodovar films, I just watched it today at a free film screening when I was supposed to be seeing Fellini's 8 1/2 until the tape messed up. This was a very fine substitute.

The film contains all the elements of an absurdist play by the likes of Beckett, Stoppard or Ionesco. From its bizarre and essentially alienating dialogue, to its disjointed plot brought somewhat together by the end, it is an absolute delight to see such films around today.

All the characters are wonderfully developed and, like in a play, the narrative is light in plot but heavy in characters. It makes you think, not about the story it is telling since the story itself is ludicrous, and not about what is said for the same reason, but just about the way the characters interact with each other and how this can be applied to everyday life.

There are also some wonderful performances contained within. Each of the actors and actresses are so gutsy and alive inside this strange para-universe that Almodovar has created. It really is a treat to watch, with the persistently wry and often wildly ironic humour extracted to its full potential by the deadpan mock seriousness plastered across each character's face. It gives us a good laugh, not just at the film itself but at ourselves and the elements of us we can see in it. Plus the mambo cab is a dead-set winner.

After seeing this film, I am currently desperate to see another Almodovar. From this one piece I can see he is definitely a director worth celebrating and admiring and I will try to encourage many others to discover him for themselves. ****1/2 / *****


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