Álex de la Iglesia’s sprawling backstage farce “My Big Night” (Mi gran noche) revels in the chaos behind the scenes of a woefully disastrous New Year’s Eve variety show, as it’s pre-recorded months early, to extrava-gonzo result. Speedy from the get-go—an extra appears to be crushed by a crane and the body must be dispatched—“Night” also slashes with sizzling colors, and its many subplots are cut within a millimeter of life itself. Swimming in kitsch, “My Big Night” is a rare rush even in uninspired moments, but its vigor is to be expected from the director of “El crimen perfecto” and “The Last Circus.” Surely the local Spanish audience got more from local pop culture references and in-jokes, but the headlong pace and bumptious good cheer is infectious. An Almodóvar discovery, de la Iglesia has his own I’m-so-happy-to-be-here exuberance that remains winning no matter how many storylines he crosscuts. 98m. (Ray Pride)
“My Big Night” opens Friday, May 13 at Siskel.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His multimedia history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” will be published later this year.