Manuela is a hard-working single mom who has raised her son Esteban by herself since the time he was born. On his 17th birthday they go to the theater and after the show, he tries to get the main actress' autograph but is run down on the street and dies. She quits her job and journeys to Barcelona, where she hopes to find her son's father, Lola, a transvestite she kept secret from her son, just as she never told Lola they had a son. In Barcelona, Manuela reunites with her old friend Agrado, a warm and witty transvestite prostitute. She also meets and becomes deeply involved with several characters: Rosa, a young nun who works in a shelter for battered prostitutes, but is pregnant by Lola and is HIV positive; Huma Rojo, the actress her son had admired; and the drug-addicted Nina Cruz, Huma's co-star and lover. Her life becomes entwined with theirs as she cares for Rosa during her pregnancy and works for Huma as her personal assistant and even acts in the play as an understudy for Nina ...
sex talk, husband wife relationship, mourning, redemption, teenage boy, theatre, drug addiction, heart transplant, absent father, female nudity, fellatio, panties, transgender, mother son relationship, lesbian, divorcee, loss of son, drug addict, pregnancy, friendship
This is humanism in drag: Almodovar's passionate redefinition of family values.
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