Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)

1h 28m / R / Comedy, Drama

Remember answering machines? Remember that mix of anticipation and dread when you came home to see the little red light flashing? If you could throw your voicemail inbox out of a physical window, how many times would you have done it by now?

Pepa (Carmen Maura) just got the worst answering machine message of her life: her good-for-nothing voice actor boyfriend Iván just broke up with her, and he used his dumb little commercial voice to do it. But Pepa can’t even overdose on sleeping pills in peace: she’s got to deal with her best friend Candela, who has accidentally made herself a suspect in a terrorist plot; Carlos, Iván’s son, who might be trying to rent her apartment; Lucia, Carlos’s mom who’s still obsessed with Iván; and, naturally, an important secret of her own.

Written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown is humanity’s finest and most exhaustive examination of the situationship, in the same way that Moby Dick is our best novel about deep sea fishing. It was also the highest-grossing Spanish film of all time at its release, which just goes to show there’s nothing as universal as the experience of having a bad breakup. Vividly stylized and darkly farcical, Women on the Verge is the perfect way to end the week. Bring your besties, get a glass of wine and some popcorn … but maybe pass on the gazpacho.


Spanish with English subtitles

This screening is held in the Historic Duncan Auditorium. This space utilizes open seating for this event; seat selection is not required.