View From The Top

"Bad"

View From The Top Review


To the endless soundtrack of grating girl-empowerment country music ditties and romantic '80s hair-band rock, Gwyneth Paltrow crash-lands in "View From the Top," playing a Nevada-bred white-trash ditz who dreams of a "glamorous" life as a flight attendant.

There were no survivors (at least in terms of pride) among the cast that includes Christina Applegate, Mark Ruffalo, Candice Bergen and Kelly Preston -- all of whom certainly must have signed on to a script that looked very different from this inept and lifeless comedy.

Having sat on a shelf for more than a year and having been edited down to what feels like an endless 87 minutes (a run-time that short is often a tell-tale sign of desperate post-production rescue attempts), "View From the Top" finds few fresh jokes in its formulaic plot (think "Legally Blonde" at 30,000 feet). Paltrow's career path is challenged by a catty competitor (Applegate) who gets her assigned to puddle-jumpers. A love interest (Ruffalo) in Cleveland (a backwater berg from the movie's point of view) forces her to choose between following her heart and chasing a prestige stewardessing gig on "Paris first class international" flights.

Apparently it never occurred to writer Eric Wald or director Bruno Barreto ("Carried Away," "One Tough Cop") that this central conflict is fundamentally nonsense. If Paltrow's character is a flight attendant, she could get on a plane to Cleveland to be with her boyfriend almost any time she wants.

But the plot is the least of this picture's problems. You can see the let's-get-this-over-with attitude on the faces of the actors as they shrug their way through embarrassingly stale comedic set pieces, shallow stereotypes (the small-town heroine and her pals all wear neon polyester mini-dresses and big hair), false moments of drama (the soundtrack turns sad and serious when Applegate is caught stealing hotel guest soaps), and hammy throw-away scenes of indulgent improvisation (Mike Myers half-heartedly mugs through a small part as a flight attendant trainer with a lazy eye).

Very, very occasional a good laugh comes as a welcome surprise ("Baloney or cheese?" Paltrow asks passengers at mealtime on a cheap airline). But mostly the movie just trumpets its own incompetence, beginning with its use of book-ending voice-overs as a substitute for real story and character development.

Paltrow is badly cast -- she just doesn't have it in her to be a convincing dingbat. Ditto Ruffalo ("You Can Count On Me," "Windtalkers"), whose pinched expressions of sincerity definitely make him a poor candidate for a light-hearted romantic lead. Applegate, who was the best thing in last year's "The Sweetest Thing," is stuck playing a role more superficial than even her bimbo Kelly Bundy from "Married With Children." Bergen, playing "the world's most famous flight attendant," dusts off aristocratic mannerisms familiar from "Miss Congeniality" and "Sweet Home Alabama."

Even the outtakes that run with the closing credits can muster up only a couple weak chuckles. But where "View From the Top" really falls down is in its complete failure to exploit the flight attendant trade for laughs that are certainly inherent to the job. Where are the unruly passengers? Where are the robotic greetings and goodbyes?

The one scene of aspiring stewardess interviews in last year's "Catch Me If You Can" is exponentially funnier than every little laugh in this entire movie all rolled together.



View From The Top

Facts and Figures

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Friday 21st March 2003

Box Office USA: $15.5M

Box Office Worldwide: $15.6M

Distributed by: Miramax Films

Production compaines: Miramax Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 14%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 106

IMDB: 5.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Donna, as Christine Montgomery, as Sally Weston, as Tommy Boulay, as Sherry, as Randy Jones, as Angela Samona, Frederick Coffin as Mr. Stewart, as John Witney, as Ted Stewart, as Co-Pilot Steve Bench

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.