View From The Top


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Rating: PG-13

Gwyneth Paltrow as Donna Jensen
Christina Applegate as Christine Montgomery
Mark Ruffalo as Tim Stewart
Candice Bergen as Sally Weston
Kelly Preston as Sherry
Mike Myers as John Whitney
Marc Blucas as Tommy Boulay
Jessica Capshaw as Royalty International Flight Attendant
Andrew Chitko as Roulette Dealer
Chelsey Cole as Young Donna
John Francis Daley as Rodney
Stacey Dash as Trainee
Stephen Tobolowsky as Frank Thomas
Chad Everett as Jack Thorton
Wayne Federman as Whiskey Sour Man

Special Features:

History of the flight attendant

A journey inside the movie

Music of the movie

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions
Dolby 5.1 Digital Surround Sound
Running Time: 87 Minutes

Donna Jensen is a small town girl who dreams of more in life. After being inspired by the life of famous flight attendant Sally Weston, Donna decides to become a flight attendant herself. After an initially rocky start at a small airline, Donna soon becomes quite adept at being a stewardess.

Eventually Donna and her co-workers Christine and Sherry decide to apply for jobs at the larger Royalty Airlines. They go to a training school run by John Whitney, a failed flight attendant with a lazy eye. Donna is well on her way to realizing her dream. However, will a newfound love with boyfriend Tim Stewart keep her from living that dream?

“View From The Top” is rated PG-13 for language and sexual references.

The Movie:
I was curious to see View From The Top. The film had a great cast and the commercials made it look funny, but it was panned by star Gwyneth Paltrow and it tanked at the box office. What could make a movie that seems to have all the right ingredients take a horrible nosedive? (Pun intended.)

After having seen it, I can say why. It’s simply not funny. I wanted to like this movie and I kept waiting to laugh out loud, but it never happened. The movie kept wavering between comedy and drama and it never decided completely what it wanted to be. A mix simply didn’t work. Not even Mike Meyers was able to save the film.

The film had a great cast. Mike Meyers, though normally really funny, didn’t have a lot to work with here. His character with the lazy eye didn’t do much for me either. Meyers is also only in about a quarter of the film. Kelly Preston adds some life and character to the story, but she’s written out of the film fairly early. Rob Lowe is in the film around two or three minutes and he makes no impact whatsoever. The normally funny Christina Applegate isn’t given much to work with. That’s pretty much the case with Candice Bergen who spends most of the time inflicting a fake southern accent on audiences. I was glad to see her not be a character that turns evil for once, though. Finally, star Gwyneth Paltrow is excellent and it’s not nearly as bad as she made the film out to be in interviews. However, the script doesn’t do much to highlight her talents. She either needs to be in a straight up comedy or a complete drama. Wavering back and forth never allows her to really get into gear and show what she can do. She, too, offers up a bad southern accent. (Yes, it’s a pet peeve of mine.) Overall, I like all these actors, but I’d like to see them team on some other project.

Flight Attendants are ripe for comedy, but this film never really does much with that comic potential. There were a lot of ways they could have gone with the material, but the creators seemed to want to take the safe route. They never make fun of flight attendants, but they never fully make use of the amusing parts of their jobs. Maybe in a post September 11th world they didn’t want to risk it. In any case, this movie could have been better than it was.

The soundtrack was pretty decent, though. It featured a mix of new artists as well as hits from the 80’s like “Time After Time”. It made it kind of fun to hear the golden oldies. The movie also looked good. How can you complain about Applegate, Preston, and Paltrow wearing mini-skirts? (Just kidding. Or am I??)

In the end, this movie is probably most geared for young girls, fans of Paltrow, and flight attendants. Everyone else will probably be bored.

The Extras:
This film is understandably light on the extras. Here are the few it had:

History of the flight attendant – This is a 10 minute documentary on the history of flight attendants. Various real life flight attendants and historians talk about how they started out in the 30’s as registered nurses accompanying military flights. They also talk about the transition of airlines from elite transport to glorified busses. There is a brief discussion about how things have changed since 9/11, but it is generally glossed over. Ironically, one geeky flight attendant historian has a lazy eye. Coincidence?

A journey inside the movie – This is a brief promotional video discussing the making of the movie. It’s about 8 minutes long and it mainly features the cast and crew all singing each other’s praises while behind the scenes clips play. It does offer some interesting glimpses into some deleted scenes (one reveals the ultimate fate of Kelly Preston’s character), but there’s not much else here.

Music of the movie – One of the Mirimax executives praises four of the female artists who provide music for the film. Not much of their music is played and quite honestly I didn’t even notice them in the movie. The 80’s music stood out more to me.

The Bottom Line:
This movie is a renter at best. Mike Meyers fans may be disappointed by his lack of screentime, but you may find his performance (and Paltrow’s) briefly worth checking out if you have nothing better to see.