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Movie Info

RATING:

PG-13 (for language and sexual references)

RELEASE:

March 2003

TIME:

87 minutes

STARRING:

Gwyneth Paltrow, Christina Applegate, Mark Ruffalo, Candice Bergen

DIRECTOR:

Bruno Barreto

PRODUCERS:

Brad Grey, Matthew Baer, Bobby Cohen

WRITER:

Eric Wald

DISTRIBUTOR:

Miramax Films

 

Please Note

In providing movie reviews on our site, CBN.com is not endorsing or recommending films we review. Our goal is to provide Christians with information about the latest movies, both the good and the bad, so that our readers may make an informed decision as to whether or not films are appropriate for them and their families.

MOVIE REVIEW

View from the Top

By Elliott Ryan
Guest Columnist


CBN.com - Gwyneth Paltrow stars as Donna Jenson, a young woman yearning to leave her small town life behind and see the world. She finds an opportunity to do exactly that with a career as a flight attendant. But soon she becomes confused as she finds she must choose between a career requiring constant travel and settling down for a life of romance with a young law student.

Perhaps this is an appropriate dilemma for the main character to have as the movie itself seems to be a bit confused also. View from the Top was advertised as a comedy. Truthfully, there are numerous genuinely funny moments in the movie. But the movie also contains scenes that are played as serious drama. Sometimes the movie felt like it was a sitcom. At other times it felt like an after-school special.

Again, there is a good deal of comedy in this movie. The funniest scenes all feature Mike Myers as John Whitney, a flight attendant instructor with crossed eyes. The scenes in which he interviews and then trains flight attendant candidates were often hilarious. Unfortunately, this movie suffers from the same malady that haunts most comedies Hollywood puts out these days: The funniest scenes are all included in the movie trailer. If you have seen commercials for this movie, you have already seen most of the big jokes.

And then there is the drama. Paltrow's Donna is joined by two buddies (played by Kelly Preston and Christina Applegate) who together seek to fulfill their life dreams as flight attendants. Donna gets a mentor (played by Candice Bergen) who offers advice and support as Donna pursues her goals. The love interest (a law student played by Mark Ruffalo) soon enters and Donna must decide whether to put her career or a possible romance first.

While all viewers may not be able to readily identify with Donna's life goals, the struggle between climbing the corporate ladder and focusing on one's personal life should resonate with many viewers. This dilemma is especially real for Christians who have to deal with how to live in this world but not of it. While we desire to be successful and bring honor to God through our careers, we must also realize that relationships (first with Christ, but also with family and friends) should be our focus.

While this movie doesn't touch on spiritual aspects of this dilemma, it does raise important questions to the viewer about where our priorities should be placed in life. Unfortunately, the clichéd script is too shallow to give us any great answers to the dilemma.

If all of this makes the movie sound bad, it isn't intended to do so. The movie is well-cast and well-acted. The funny parts are often very funny. The rest is at the very least interesting, if not overwhelmingly original. If you are in the mood for a few good laughs and a sweet story, this movie will provide you with an entertaining diversion.

WARNING: View from the Top is rated PG-13 for language and sexual references. While relatively clean for a Hollywood romance, it is NOT a movie for the whole family. An otherwise positive movie-going experience is tarnished by a few lines of dialogue. Leave the kids at home.

Interesting side note: The soundtrack from this movie features three songs performed by some people familiar to Christian music fans: Sixpence None the Richer, Natalie Grant, and Plumb. See if you can pick their songs out during the movie.

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