View From The Top
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // PG-13 // February 21, 2003
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted April 5, 2003
Rent It
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
Graphical Version
The Movie:

"View From The Top" is another one of Miramax's shelf items that the studio has finally given a release (the film was completed in 2001). Surprisingly enough, the lightweight picture stars Gwyneth Paltrow; while Paltrow has succeeded in comedy before, she seems like she's slumming in this low-budget laugher.

Paltrow stars as Donna, a young woman from a small Nevada town who dreams of becoming a flight attendant. After finding inspiration in the latest book of an attendant-gone-famous (Candance Bergen), she starts off her career in the air at Fresno-based Sierra Airlines, where she's stuck wearing tight outfits and catering to gamblers. Accompanied by Sherry (Kelly Preston) and Christine (Christina Applegate), Donna's happy, yet unsatisfied.

When high-class airline Royal is hiring, all three girls apply, but only Donna and Christine get in. Only one will get the much-desired New York to Paris route and one will end up on the express out of Cleveland. Despite her impressive knowledge of all the skills that an attendant must possess, Donna finds herself on the latter route. Yet, Cleveland rejoins her with former Southwestern love interest Ted (Mark Ruffalo), back in Cleveland to to back to law school. Romance ensues. Problems return - Donna finds that she really can achieve her dreams of classy routes, but at what cost? Is Christine friend or foe? Why does the movie look like its supposed to be in the 70's when it's actually supposed to be present day?

I suppose that the cast was attracted by director Bruno Barretto, whose "Bossa Nova" gained a cult following that I still don't claim to understand. Once again, I'm unimpressed with the director's work - the film sort of veers between tones and really isn't the "wacky" comedy that the (terrible) trailers for the film make it out to be. In fact, it's more a sweet, inspirational tale of a girl trying to achieve her particular dream. To her credit, Paltrow makes a fair amount of the movie work - she sells the material for all it's worth, and turns Donna into a likable character that, despite nothing much going on around her, pulls the movie along. Preston and Applegate hardly get much to do, with Preston exiting early on. There's only mild chemistry between Ruffalo and Paltrow. The source of most of the film's laughs is Mike Meyers, who takes a stale gag (his character, who trains the flight attendants, has one lazy eye) and really makes the most out of it. He's not doing anything really that he hasn't done before, but his timing is, once again, perfection.

Obviously, this is a light-weight effort; a comedy where problems are brought to the table and solved without much worry moments later. The breezy picture even runs less than 90 minutes, and moves along fairly well (although it feels like its been through a few rounds in the editing room during its stay on the shelf). I certainly can't say it's anything close to a great movie, but it's one of those movies that so desperately wants to be likable that, in this case, I couldn't resist. It's a slight, predictable film with some concerns, but Paltrow manages to inject enough charm to make it likable and even fairly involving. Rent it.

Copyright 2017 Inc. All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy is a Trademark of Inc.