Law of Desire (1987)
Watching this, I at times had to remind myself, this is Almodovar. Not that the film itself wasn't a constant reminder of that, but as the story drifted into the overwrought and expressive, rather than the coherent or believable, I still needed to remind myself to avoid turning on the film. I do think by the end it mostly covers itself as a bold, absurd statement about the irrationality of desire. At present I'm rather sympathetic to a "just one more night, damn the consequences" mentality. And though the film includes violence in pursuit, it mostly avoids bringing that violence directly into the romantic relationships, which would make it a much harder film to tolerate.
While the film saves itself from going full on Broken Embraces, it still falls well down the list of Almodovar works. Additional points of intrigue come from an astoundingly young looking Antonio Banderas. For someone who would become a pretty major star, this is a rather bold role...not his only such role for Almodovar. It's kind of a surprise that I consider his acting one of the weak points. There's something that feels a bit off about most of the performances here, except perhaps for the lead. Also curious to find that the actress playing the young girl here is Manuela Velasco, star of [REC].