While not his best film, the lukewarm reception in some circles (though since I really only read Ebert and AO Scott, who knows? they loved his film) miss the point. I would hazard that this is often true: his particular form of melodrama is many times lost on audiences that want something resembling reality with a happy ending. Yes, its suppose to be ridiculous--messy with life, color and amour fou ("mad love", a concept made famous by the surrealist). In that way, it's a beautiful, intoxicating brew.
Also, has anyone noticed the same vocabulary (though completely different feel) of Fassbinder and Almodovar's films? My Spanish and German aren't good, but the fact that I know certain words in both languages seem very striking. Their mutual craziness, love of melodrama and gay men/color/sickness/etc seems a thesis topic in the making. But sadly, not mine.
Sidenote: bought the boy something today. Should I give it to him when I get back or for a future (though soon-to-be upcoming, ie. anniversary, Valentines Day, birthday trifecta) event?