Synopsis by Karl Williams
Spanish director Pedro Almodovar returns to his recurring framework of offbeat sexuality and death with this colorful comedy. Kika (Veronica Forque) is a Madrid makeup artist who falls in love with Ramon (Alex Casanovas), a dead man whose face Kika is hired to prepare for a funeral. Kika's attraction resurrects Ramon, and the two begin cohabiting. Kika becomes embroiled in a pair of criminal schemes, one involving her maid Juana (Rossy De Palma) and Juana's amorous, retarded brother Pablo (Santiago Lajusticia), the other involving Ramon's father, Nicholas (Peter Coyote). After Kika is raped by Pablo, she learns the incident was videotaped by Ramon, the footage ending up on a tabloid television program hosted by Andrea Scarface (Victoria Abril). Kika and Ramon split, but the latter discovers his father's complicity in the demise of his mother, leading to a violent confrontation. Because of Almodovar's humorous treatment of the film's rape, Kika was his third feature in a row that resulted in critical accusations of misogyny and exploitation. His subsequent material became more dramatic and less tinged with black humor.
America, beautician, blackmail, camera, criminal, escaped-convict, extramarital-affair, father, free-spirit, head [body part], host, killing, love-triangle, makeup-artist, maniac, murder, promiscuity, sex, sexual, son, stepson, tabloid, television, writing