Saturday, November 12, 2011
View from the Top is a 2003 romantic comedy film about a young woman from a small town who sets out to fulfill her dream of becoming a flight attendant. The film was directed by Bruno Barreto, and stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Christina Applegate, and Mark Ruffalo.
Donna Jensen (Gwyneth Paltrow) is a girl from a small town from Nevada who wishes to see the world in order to get away from her unhappy life of living in a trailer with her alcoholic mother, a former Las Vegas showgirl, and her abusive, alcoholic boyfriend. After graduating from high school, Donna tries to make ends meet by working as a clerk in a local bargain basement store. One day, she reads a book by Sally Weston, My Life in the Sky and decides to follow her destiny by becoming a flight attendant. Her first position is at a small, seedy California commuter airline but this success builds her confidence up and encourages her to attend open interviews for Royalty Airlines. She convinces her two co-workers, Sherry and Christine (Kelly Preston and Christina Applegate), to join her. While Christine and Donna get in, Sherry does not. Donna puts her heart and soul into the training camp, and, after meeting her idol Sally Weston (Candice Bergen), she is determined to be assigned to the top route, "Paris, First Class, International". Alas, when the assignments are posted, Donna is shocked to discover that she has been assigned to a commuter route in Cleveland. Christine, who had initially struggled with the material and procedures, has inexplicably been assigned the high-priority New York route.
A few months later, by chance, Donna runs into Christine in Cleveland. Donna knows from previous experience that Christine has stolen things from people's homes but is still shocked when Christine empties her handbag to reveal all manner of Royalty Air items. Even the smallest theft is strictly prohibited by Royalty Airlines, and could mean termination. Still sure there was some sort of error in her route assignment, Donna turns to Sally Weston for help. Through a course of events, Donna discovers that Christine had switched their test booklets when they were being handed up to their trainer - Christine's route assignment is rightfully Donna's, and vice versa. When Sally asks to have airline security spy on Christine's flight - to see if she stole any property (a code blue) - Christine gets caught. Donna gets the chance to re-take her exam and achieves a perfect score, assigning her the New York, First Class, International route. However, following her "destiny" means deciding between a boyfriend and her career. She chooses her career.
Though she gets all that she wants - Paris, first class, etc. - Donna realizes that she is still not happy. She misses her boyfriend in Cleveland terribly, and with Sally Weston's encouragement, she returns to Cleveland to meet him. She does, and after a heartfelt speech to his deaf grandmother, which he overhears, the two kiss and make up. The movie ends with Donna wishing her passengers well as they land in Cleveland. She has become a Royalty Airlines pilot even though there was nothing in her life or the script to suggest that she was at all interested in flying planes.