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View From The Top
I Swear It's Not The Jumbo Popcorn That Made Me Throw Up

Writ. Eric Wald, who should be shot
Dir. Bruno Barreto, who should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity
Star. Gwyneth Paltrow, Candice Bergen, Marc Ruffalo, Mike Meyer, and a host of others who should all be banished from Hollywood forever

Did you ever see Space Camp?

Have you seen it recently? Now, when you're older than the curious day dreaming time of the pre-teens where you actually thought that space camp was more than a branch of the Universal Studios theme park and you truly wished that you had a robot who would be your best friend because your acne-riddled visage and your steel encased teeth had systematically eliminated all other routes of social interaction? Have you seen it now, when you're far too old to like those kids at all or care if they ever make it back to earth? Now, when you can see how terrible a movie it truly is? Ah, Space Camp! Well let me tell you: Space Camp soars miles above View From The Top (oh, look. a pun).

Free Williamsburg
Film Archive


View From the Top
Laurel Canyon

Ordinary Sinner
Dark Blue
The Quiet American


Hell House
Good Housekeeping
Roger Dodger
Spirited Away
Punch-Drunk Love
Bowling For Columbine
Scarlet Diva
Full Frontal
Sex and Lucia
The Powerpuff Girls Movie
Read My Lips (Sur Mes Levres)
The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Human Nature
Shot in the Heart
Jim Brown: All American
Stolen Summer
Ram Dass: Fierce Grace

View From The Top is set in some hyperbolized Bizzaro-world where everything that is, is the superlative of itself. Donna Jensen (Paltrow) has the WORST childhood in the SMALLEST, MOST WHITE TRASH town, and the DUMBEST boyfriend and the HIGHEST aspirations to be the BEST stewardess just like Sally Weston (Bergen) who is the MOST FAMOUS flight attendant in history. Donna's friends are the NICEST and the PRETTIEST and her new boyfriend (Ruffalo) turns out to be the BEST lawyer and, of course, the two of them are a perfect, perfect match. This is true of most romantic comedies, but in View From The Top it is infinitely more offensive because there is nothing grounded about any part of the film. The sets and costumes all have the feel of vintage Gucci knock-offs, the acting is hyperbolically bad, and the humor… let's not even talk about the humor.

Actually let's. The main flaw throughout View From The Top is that it relies completely on Gwyneth Paltrow's comic timing and prowess. Unfortunately she has none. To make matters worse the ever self-degrading Mike Meyers makes yet another stop on his professional downward spiral to try and help her out. For some reason Meyers, these last few years, has been deliberately and slowly trying to kill his own career, kind of like Nicholas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas drinking himself to death - it's just as disturbing to watch Meyers' slow decent towards obliteration, and, also it's just as much fun.

Paltrow's idea of the Midwestern blonde ditsy-type involves constantly furrowing her eyebrows and letting her mouth hang open in a confused 'O'; all of which gives her the look, not of a small town girl, but rather a first time hooker trying really hard to concentrate on a blowjob. This while she flips her pathetic mid-west accent on and off so many times that the effect is something of an auditory strobe light. One should probably be wary of epileptic seizures; or perhaps one should be thankful if they're lucky enough to collapse before they have to see the end.

The last shot of the movie, in which (not to spoil it for you) Paltrow takes off her sunglasses and literally winks at the camera, is possibly the most unforgivable cinematic moment this year. No, wait. I'm wrong. There's an all cast how down that immediately follows this which transcends nauseating and carries you to the highest plane of disgust attainable. It's replete with a View From The Top version of "We Are Family," including cleverly re-written lyrics like "We are Royalty, Flying up as high as can be."

You know those times when your hands ache for a brick to throw at the screen?

The Ratings

Two bottles of Jack Daniels, daily
Mark Ruffalo, who was a downright hottie in You Can Count On Me, seems to have broken his jaw and started drinking. Every line is delivered from an overly puffy head with a crooked mouth so the words seem to drip down the side of his face. And his eyes have a cold glazed look to them of a good man trapped Twilight-Zone style is a never-ending hell of his own imagining. Given that, what else would he do but drink?

Four hypnotically swinging watches for the casting director

Major props go to Marci Liroff who must have brainwashed each and every cast member (right down to the extras) into believing that this movie was something worthwhile. Either that or she doled out a huge amount of oral sex to get these people on board. Either way, you go Marci! You go!

Half a hipster

I actually feel guilty giving Dark Blue the same rating as this movie. Dark Blue is a well thought out, cohesive movie, with interesting characters, and a fast paced plot compared to View From The Top. This movie stinks like a foot, if a foot smelled like ass.

--B.C. Edwards
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[email protected] | March 2003 | Issue 36
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