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View from the Top

Starring Gwyneth Paltrow; Christina Applegate, Mark Ruffalo, Candice Bergen, Kelly Preston, Rob Lowe and Mike Myers
Screenplay by Eric Wald
Directed by Bruno Barreto

screened at Loew's eWalk 42nd Street, NYC

IN SHORT: Crash and burn, all the way. [Rated PG-13 for language/sexual references. 85 minutes]

Distract us with enough tight, short skirts and great looking girls in bikinis and it can be a whole 85 minutes until we realize what a lousy movie we've planted for. The story of View From The Top is so thin that once we get as far as "A plucky young woman enters the field of airline steward-ing with the potential to be the best that's ever been. She doesn't because..." we can't finish the sentence because that's about all there is to first timer Eric Wald's first time script -- this is the work that, according to the press notes, got the man his Master's Degree. Story-wise, welcome to Wald's first utter waste of time.

Actually, there is a bit more to this film but it's all in the soundtrack music which stuffs so many songs into the screentime that even the non-reviewers in our audience were muttering about the number of songs stuffed into to movie. We've represented that number visually by the blank spaces between each paragraph in what passes for our review.

Donna Jensen (Gwyneth Paltrow), a pretty young thing from the trailer park decides to enter the glamorous world of air service after seeing legendary stewardess Sally Weston (Candice Bergen) plug her bio on a local talk show. Landing a gig with low-rent Sierra Airlines, you'll bust a gut when it's revealed that . . .

No, the gag is so old that we can only wonder what the hell Gwyneth Paltrow was thinking when she signed on.

Donna makes two friends in the low rent game. There's the lovely Sherry (Kelly Preston) and the lovely yet younger Christine (Christina Applegate) both of whom know how to fill a bikini. Later there'll be a law school dropout love interest named Ted (Mark Ruffalo), who knows how to fix a busted bikini.

That last sentence is not a clever, sarcastic joke. It's a plot point.

The three decide to go for broke with Royalty Air, a high class airline that owns planes with jet engines -- that's a sarcastic joke -- but only one will get the coveted New York to Paris route. One will shuffle back to Sierra and one will land in Cleveland.

That -- Cleveland -- used to be a joke. The love story and a desperate need to get the hell out of Cleveland fill most of A View From The Top, with two exceptions.

Yes, you can be the first to see the cinematic triumph of the one scene done by Rob Lowe, as "co-pilot Steve." For this he left The West Wing? [NOTE: that sentence *****is***** sarcasm. Producer Brad Grey is Lowe's manager. Lowe did the man a favor two years ago. Fankids, stay in school. Learn to read in context. Don't waste your eMail allotments telling us how The West Wing sucks without him. We don't care....]

Exception Number Two, this on a less sarcastic note, is the appearance of Mike Myers as John Whitney, Royalty's trainer of stewardess stars in the making. Were the creative floodgates so damned that Myers was given a facial deformity and told to do anything dumb for a laugh?

Uh, doing dumb things is what Mike Myers does. It gets laughs. Not enough of 'em to waste ten bucks on a ticket.

There is nothing in View From The Top that you can't see coming a mile away. While set in the present day, the uniform designs are strictly 1960s and what passes for the jokes were old when they were new in the 1970s. We've already called it an utter waste of time so it would be repeating ourselves to call it an utter waste of time (and so on and so forth).

This is a movie so bad that novice readers think to themselves "well he's got to say the movie is bad because his name is the Cranky Critic . . ." But they would be wrong. This movie is that bad.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to View From The Top, he would have paid . . .


Gotta give the filmmakers something for the bikinis. So, that being said, View From The Top is just about the worst excuse for a movie we've planted for so far this year.

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