View From The Top (2003)
Main cast: Gwyneth Paltrow (Donna Jensen), Christina Applegate (Christine Montgomery), Mark Ruffalo (Tim Stewart), Candice Bergen (Sally Weston), Kelly Preston (Sherry), Mike Myers (John Whitney), and Marc Blucas (Tommy Boulay)
Director: Bruno Baretto

This movie has been on the Miramax store room shelf for two years before it finally gets released, but View From The Top isn't too bad a movie. It's just mildly amusing and totally forgettable once the show is over. It just doesn't know what kind of comedy it wants to be. It tries to be everything, and you know what they say about Jacks of All Trade.

Donna Jensen dreams of escaping her trailer trash roots. When her first boyfriend Tommy Boulay dumps her for the barbecue accessories salesgirl, Donna decides to become an air stewardess instead. Inspired by Sally Weston, a successful air-stewardess turned bestselling author, she tries out for Sierra Airlines. Tacky plastic skirts and bad hair notwithstanding, a gal has to start somewhere. Soon she and her friend Christine sign up for the Royal Airline, and this movie then chronicles Donna's experience as she excels through air steward school and falls in love with law student Tim (Mark Ruff-WOOF-alo). As usual, we get the predictable dreams-versus-love dilemma.

Mike Myers steal what little he can from this movie by playing John Whitney, a cantankerous teacher (and failed air steward). When you see his eye and facial tics, you will know why he's a flop as an air steward. But he has worked so hard to be the best, so he is very bitter. Watch out, girls.

While it is a nice experience to see the delicious Mark Ruffalo playing a romantic lead - WOOF - he and Paltrow have no chemistry whatsoever. (He fares better with Laura Linney in the remarkable You Can Count On Me.) Paltrow is reliable as always when it comes to carrying her role, but the script isn't doing her any favors.

This movie seems lost at finding its direction. It tries to be a slapstick comedy for a while, then abandons it for some attempt at wit-driven comedy, then it wants to be Inspirational Comedy, and then it puts in a catfight scene between Christine and Donna - so much for Inspirational Comedy. Watching this movie, I'm at most moved to weak chuckles at times, but I'm never tickled. The romance, or what little of it, is resolved in a really insulting "girl gives up dreams for love" nonsense that makes me see red.

Paltrow, Myers, and Ruffalo try to make the best of the raw deal they are given, but ultimately View From The Top loses focus of its own direction and starts falling apart.

Rating: 72

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