Title: View From the Top
Released: 2003

Fix: Over-the-Top Romantic Comedy
Platforms: HBO Max, Max Go, DirecTV, Spectrum On Demand

Netflix Summary:

A small-town girl’s dreams of becoming a flight attendant hit some turbulence when she meets a catty colleague, a frisky pilot and a crazy instructor.

FYA Summary:

Donna wants nothing more than to get out of the small town of Silver Springs, Nevada. When she sees a former flight attendant speaking about her glorious career on a TV talk show, Donna takes it as a sign, and throws herself into a new career and a new life. But is it really all that it’s cracked up to be?

Familiar Faces:

Gwyneth Paltrow as Donna

As wacky as she comes across in real life, I enjoy watching Gwyneth on screen. She’s cute in the role of Donna, but nothing special or unique. I’d much rather watch her play a quippy badass like Pepper Potts.

John Francis Daley as Rodney

John is a mere blip on the radar in this movie (which, if you keep reading, you’ll see is a trend with many roles in View from the Top), but I’m pretty sure that he was just playing Sam, his character from Freaks and Geeks.

Marc Blucas as Tommy

Although I never felt that Riley and Buffy worked as a couple, I thought Riley was a sweet dude. Tommy is nothing like Riley, however—he’s a washed-up high school football star who finds himself manager of the local Big Lots who dumps Donna for Brenda in BBQs. He’s also got terrible hair.

Candice Bergen as Sally Weston

At first, I thought Sally was going to turn out to be much like Candice’s character in Miss Congeniality—a terrible, self-centered shrew of a woman past her prime (but who doesn’t think she is). Sally is lovely and warm, however, and serves as a mentor to Donna. I like seeing her in this sort of role.

Jon Polito as Roy Roby

Roy’s kind of a non-character; he’s only in the movie for one scene. He’s got a bit of a low-price divorce lawyer quality to him, however, which Jon is so very good at.

Kelly Preston as Sherry

Sherry is the mother-hen of Donna and Christine when they first start their careers as flight attendants. She was sweet and a bit sad—a woman past her prime whose dreams never really came true. Kelly plays her well.

Rob Lowe as Co-Pilot Steve

Rob’s only in a couple of scenes, but his blue eyes steal the show.

Christina Applegate as Christine

Christina plays a very good mean girl with a bit of a white trash side, and the character of Christine is practically screaming this stereotype.

Mark Ruffalo as Ted

Baby Mark Ruffalo is THE CUTEST. Ted isn’t much of a surprise, though—If you’ve seen 13 Going on 30, you can probably imagine what Mark’s like in this role. Still, adorable, however.

Mike Myers as John Witney

Mike Myers does nothing better than play the wacky oddball, so it’s no surprise that he plays yet another one in this movie.

Joshua Malina as Randy

I’ve only seen Joshua in shows like The West Wing and Sports Night, in which he played much more straight-laced (literally) characters. I kind of love him as the sassy gay BFF, and really wish there had been more of him in this movie. Also, yes, his character really was named Randy. (There was a whole lot of lack of trying in this movie.)

Stacey Dash as Angela

Stacey was in the movie for all of five minutes, but man. She really doesn’t ever age, does she.

Couch-Sharing Capability: Low

Long before bee venom therapy and conscious uncoupling Goop (Gwyneth Paltrow) starred in many a romantic comedy—some, like View from the Top, were way cheesier than others. Some, unlike View from the Top, are fun to watch with other people. View from the Top should have been titled View from Over the Top.

… I think my humor has been dulled by watching this movie.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: High

More than halfway through watching View from the Top, I found myself wishing I had some of those mini bottles of alcohol they serve on airlines. Sadly, I had none, and had to watch this movie sober. The only saving graces was were sassy Josh Molina and Mark Ruffalo’s adorable turn as the love interest.

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Meh

I typically enjoy cheesy romantic comedies, but I just couldn’t get on board with this one. I really wanted to like it, but—like a flight that’s just a little too turbulent—I found myself wanting to get off the ride as soon as I could.


Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.