Pedro Almodóvar has made some very passionate and moving films (Talk to her, in particular) that display Spanish rural life at its full visual splendor with sexually charged themes that are generally not easy to identify with specially if you've been on a strict Hollywood diet. Volver sort of teeters on the same path but is thoroughly unnecessary film that fails to gather any conspicuous energy. In reverse, it generally trivializes serious issues such as incest by making a lighthearted weak comedy around it. Penelope Cruz is OK but nothing to write home about. None of the characters demand any emotional energy from the film.

Volver is one of those failures that make a director very famous.