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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

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.