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What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1984)

¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto? (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy , Drama | 30 March 1985 (USA)
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:

Pedro Almodóvar (as Pedro Almodovar)

Writer:

Pedro Almodóvar (as Pedro Almodovar)
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5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Carmen Maura ... Gloria
Luis Hostalot Luis Hostalot ... Polo
Ryo Hiruma Ryo Hiruma ... Profesor Kendo
Ángel de Andrés López ... Antonio (as Angel de Andres-Lopez)
Gonzalo Suárez Gonzalo Suárez ... Lucas Villalba (as Gonzalo Suarez)
Verónica Forqué ... Cristal
Juan Martínez ... Toni
Chus Lampreave ... Abuela
Kiti Mánver ... Juani (as Kiti Manver)
Sonia Hohmann ... Vanessa (as Sonia Anabela Holimann)
Cecilia Roth ... Chica anuncio
Diego Caretti Diego Caretti ... Chico anuncio
José Manuel Bello José Manuel Bello ... Colega barrio
Pedro Almodóvar ... 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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Spain

Language:

Spanish | German | English | French

Release Date:

30 March 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

What Have I Done to Deserve This? See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

Version of Tales of the Unexpected: Lamb to the Slaughter (1979) 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

 
The funny side of every tragedy
5 October 2007 | by simsibleSee all my reviews

Being a Spaniard, when you listen to Pedro talking, you realize he can't help being constantly comical, even though he tried to be serious about any matter.

But one knows for sure he is always concerned about social, religious and political issues, putting himself always in favor of those marginal, poor, alternative, or simply average, on its last legs. THIS is the case of Gloria's story, the modest and invisible woman cleaning your apartment who never shared a word about herself.

PEDRO is proud of this film, because it set a point of very beginning in his career, leaving behind some successful punky jokes and presents his work with ambition. He will show from now on his fondness for Hollywood, for Douglas Sirk melodramas, also for ancient south American boleros lyrics, brought to life. He never gave up being comical, of course, but now is not the end of it all.

(I never compare "Qué he hecho yo…" with "Volver", although some plot lines are very similar, you could put all together into the particular universe of the author, while Raimunda is a very ardent portrait of a colorful, brave and beautiful mother, Gloria is a weak invisible woman snowed under some universe plan against her.

This is Almodovar's canon: He is trying to get every person watching his movies knowing NOT what to do, if cry or laugh or mix together in an awkward feeling, stimulating therefore some brainstorm into him or better: to her. (Pedro talks to women and talks about women, men can watch.) He shows tragedy, and then finds some funny side of it all, and makes you feel awful for being laughing at some silly thing that happened in the middle of disaster, and then drama flows again. Only women tend to be so complex to do that. Men are dull and emotionally uninteresting. So NO, this is not a Comedy. It is a funny Tragedy.

Almodovar's eyes always remain amazed at this world of fools, where crazy circumstances and coincidences seem to happen together against you.

Look into your maid's life. Yes, she may hide a fantastic story. Talk to her.


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