Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)
Soap-opera and voice-over actress Pepa (Carmen Maura, as terrific in this as she is in many early Almodóvar films) has had it up to here with recent ex Ivan (Fernando Guillén), an aging, suave playboy who excels at both two-timing and phone tag. It seems the scorned Pepa has some muy importante news to lay on him, and when she's not chasing the scarce stud all over Madrid (as is Julieta Serrano, playing Ivan's fruitcake Jackie O-clone ex-wife) she's sitting by the phone waiting for him to return her calls. Her vigil is interrupted by a batty friend (Marìa Barranco), who's desperate for a hideout after accidentally getting mixed up with some Shiite terrorists, and a mismatched engaged couple played by Antonio Banderas and Rossy de Palma, who've come to sublet Pepa's penthouse. Fabulously campy and madcap, Verge is the perfect pick-me-up for the sassy and sturdy who prefer to laugh off melodrama and heartbreak. I hate to say this, but try to get the DVD or a wide-screen version so you can take in all the rich visual details--particularly noteworthy is the interior of the lushly tacky "Mambo Taxi" and one character's peculiar taste in accessories. In Spanish, with canary-yellow subtitles.