In Madrid, the housewife Gloria lives in a tiny apartment with her husband, the taxi driver and forger Antonio; her lunatic mother-in-law, who is addicted in bottled water and cupcakes; and two teenage sons, one of them a drug dealer and the other gay. Gloria works as cleaning lady to raise some money for her dysfunctional family and is addicted in pills; her best friend is her neighbor, the call-girl Cristal.
Antonio has a secret passion on a decadent German singer for whom he had worked as driver in Germany. A writer tries to convince Antonio to forge letters from Hitler and travels to Germany to meet the singer to invite her to participate in the scheme. Meanwhile Gloria delivers her gay son to a pervert dentist. Her mother-in-law finds a lizard while walking with her grandson on the street and they call it Dinero (Money) and bring it home. When Gloria has an argument with Antonio, she hits him on the head with a piece of wood, killing him.
What Have I Done to Deserve This? (Spanish: ¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto?) is a 1984 Spanish comedy-drama film by Pedro Almodóvar. The title is sometimes given with an exclamation mark at the end rather than a question mark.
Almodóvar has described his fourth film as a homage to Italian neorealism, although this tribute also involves jokes about paedophilia, prostitution, and a telekinetic child. The film, set in the tower blocks around Madrid, depicts female frustration and family breakdown, echoing Jean-Luc Godard’s Two or Three Things I Know About Her and strong story plots from Roald Dahl’s Lamb to the slaughter and Truman Capote’s A Day´s work but with Almodóvar’s unique approach to filmmaking. Carmen Maura has often worked for Almodóvar, she became a synonym for a strong woman and also a gay icon for her role as a transsexual in Law of Desire.
What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1984)
Directed by: Pedro Almodóvar
Starring: Carmen Maura, Gonzalo Suárez, Luis Hostalot, Ryo Hiruma, Ángel de Andrés López, Verónica Forqué, Kiti Mánver, Cecilia Roth
Screenplay by: Pedro Almodóvar
Cinematography by: Ángel Luis Fernández
Film Editing by: José Salcedo
Costume Design by: Cecilia Roth
Set Decoration by: Román Arango, Pin Morales
Music by: Bernardo Bonezzi
Distributed by: Cinevista
Release Date: October 25, 1984