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Review: View from the Top

The overall effect is not unlike watching tumbleweed roll across the screen.

1.5
View from the Top
Photo: Miramax Films

Donna (Gwyneth Paltrow) is a nobody whose only dream is to leave her Silver Springs trailer park behind. Thanks to super-stewardess Sally Weston (Candice Bergen), Donna learns to aim high. But the go-getter screws up on her stewardess exam and, rather than fly “first class international” (her mantra is repeated enough times that its only a matter of time before it’s deflated), ends up working commercial flights heading out of Cleveland. Though she finds love with a law school dropout played by Mark Ruffalo, Donna still hankers for the international airways. Stuck between a rock (of love) and a hard place (Christina Applegate’s Judas Iscariot), Paltrow’s Barbie Girl forsakes love for Paris. The two-dopey-gals-in-cotton-candy-wonderland gimmick suggests that Romi and Michelle’s High School Reunion was first-time screenwriter Eric Wald’s point of departure. The sets look great but there’s still only a good dozen jokes strewn throughout the film and, even then, you’ve seen much of this arsenal in the film’s trailers. This blasé hodgepodge can’t decide whether it wants to be a romantic comedy or an absurd send-up of believe-in-yourself inspirational dramas. If Ruffalo appears to take his character entirely too seriously then there’s no explanation for what Applegate does here; she makes a half dozen entrances in the film and she never seems to be playing the same person. Mike Myers, as lazy-eyed flight instructor John Whitney, is allowed free rein over the production and only adds confusion to the mix. The overall effect is not unlike watching tumbleweed roll across the screen with an improv-happy lounge lizard popping its head into frame every 15 minutes.

Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, Christina Applegate, Mark Ruffalo, Marc Blucas, Mark Ruffalo, Kelly Preston, Rob Lowe, Candice Bergen, Mike Myers Director: Bruno Barreto Screenwriter: Eric Wald Distributor: Miramax Films Running Time: 87 min Rating: PG-13 Year: 2003 Buy: Video, Soundtrack

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