VIEW FROM THE TOP, by director Bruno Barreto (BOSSA NOVA), is best defined by
what it's not. No matter what the trailers might lead you to believe, it never
attempts to be the next AIRPLANE! -- even if it does have its slapstick moments.
Instead, this sweet little comedy is a coming-of-age,
small-town-girl-makes-good saga starring Academy Award winner Gwyneth Paltrow
(SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE). Although it should appeal to everyone, if Miramax's
marketing department were smart, they would advertise heavily on MTV, targeting
their ads to teen and preteen girls.
When we meet Donna (Paltrow), she is living with her trailer trash mom who is
currently on her third husband. Donna is an ambitious girl, but growing up in a
tiny, remote town in Nevada means that her initial goals are rather modest. She
throws herself into her first job, working in the luggage section of a Big Lots!
Since Donna's idol is Sally Weston (Candice Bergen), the "world's most famous
flight attendant" and the author of "My Life in the Sky," Donna sets her sights
on being an airline stewardess like Sally. Donna's new job at Sierra Airlines,
which flies mainly "gamblers and drunks" and which proudly features hostesses
with "big hair and short skirts," is the pits, but she does her very best. She
is incapable of doing anything less.
Along with her two friends and coworkers, played nicely by Christina Applegate
and Kelly Preston, Donna applies for the big time at Royalty Airlines. The
trainer at Royalty is played badly by Mike Myers, who sometimes acts like he got
the memo that this isn't supposed to be AIRPLANE! and other times acts like he
Along the way, Donna meets and falls for Ted, a guy who dropped out of law
school and wishes that he hadn't. He is played by Mark Buffalo (COUNT ON ME)
who does salt-of-the-earth types better than just about anyone.
Will Donna obtain her dreams? And to what extent will she suffer from buyer's
remorse if she does? You will probably be able to guess both answers, but
you'll be charmed by the story nonetheless. Rooting for an underdog that you
expect will win is always satisfying even if the result is never really in
VIEW FROM THE TOP runs a fast 1:27. It is rated PG-13 for "language/sexual
references" and would be acceptable for kids around 9 and up.
Copyright © 2003 Steve Rhodes