Almodovar: Embracing the past
Maybe someone else can tell me: Did Pedro Almodovar intentionally evoke “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” in “Broken Embraces” or simply borrow from it? There are familiar elements in “Girls and Suitcases,” the movie within the movie, to be sure: the tomato reds, “Verge” co-star Rossy de Palma, and a scheme involving gazpacho. The reconstituted “Girls” certainly evokes the over-the-top humor of “Women” — and lifts “Broken Embraces” — but are we to read more into the similarities? My guess is no: Almodovar pays homage to Hollywood movies in “Girls and Suitcases” as well: He has the director playfully doll up Penelope Cruz’s Lena as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn.
My view: the intent of the homages doesn’t really matter, though they add to the enjoyment for fans of the cinema.For all the noir elements, “Broken Embraces” is one of Almodovar’s most joyous movies in years.