Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures

Brace for impact

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There’s a story in one of Spain’s national newspapers about the possible (first-time) collaboration of Pedro Almodóvar, Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz. The proposed project, called Los amantes pasajeros, is about the hilarity that ensues on a transatlantic flight when all the passengers believe the plane is going down and they’re going to die.

Being an American who experienced September 11 as an adult means that I don’t find anything about this scenario amusing.

The story made me think of a movie that came out in 1999, Pushing Tin. If you’ve heard of it at all, it’s because it was where Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie met¹. Since you probably haven’t heard of it, it also starred John Cusack and Cate Blanchett and was about air traffic controllers in New York City. It was directed by Mike Newell (Four Weddings…) and was a “comedy.” I saw it at the time because there was a lot of hype about Jolie as The Next Big Thing according to stuff I was reading. (Her next role won her an Oscar, so I was clearly reading the right stuff.)

Back in 1999, the movie didn’t work on any level for me (everyone seemed miscast, it wasn’t funny) but I tried watching it again and found that I couldn’t even get past the opening. I have a visceral reaction to shots like these that just seem like the beginning of nightmares now.

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So, we’ll see what the El deseo team comes up with. In the story, Almodóvar reveals the English title of his movie will be I’m So Excited since the Spanish title can’t be translated. I’m not filled with confidence by this. Of course, Spain is the country that translated Airplane! as ¡Aterriza como puedas! [Land Any Way You Can!], so why I ever expect anything of them is beyond me.

¹This led to Laura Dern saying one of my favorite things ever, “I left our home to go and make a movie, and while I was away my boyfriend got married, and I never heard from him again.”


Author: le cul en rows

I'm an American Spaniard, living in France. I like to tell stories.

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