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High Heels

A stylish but disappointing spoof which lacks the satiric gusto of director Pedro Almodovar's earlier works. Technically impressive, and boasting a top-flight cast, HIGH HEELS flounders thanks to Almodovar's muddled, overwrought screenplay. The story involves a TV anchor, Rebecca (Victoria Abril), who is married to a former lover of her singer/actress mother, Becky (Marisa Paredes). In one of the more noteworthy scenes, a female impersonator lip-synchs to some of Becky's hits at a club where both mother and daughter are in the audience; when Rebecca hurries backstage to congratulate him, the two make sudden, passionate love. (Later we find out he's actually a judge doing "undercover work.") Despite these moments of provocative lunacy, there's little here to match the sophisticated madness of the director's breakthrough hit, WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN. Almodovar is a prime example of a filmmaker who has been hampered by extraordinary success and the carte blanche mentality that often accompanies it.