View from the Top: The Power of Settling!

Donna Jensen is the main character in the movie View from the Top. Growing up in a dysfunctional family caused this small-town girl to want to see the world. As an adult, she brainstorms the idea that becoming a flight attendant will bring her dreams to fruition.

Even with several obstacles in her path to becoming a New York flight attendant with routes to other countries, she manages to fight for what she wants; and near the end of the film, she gets it. Even with this clearly being a comedy, the film manages to portray a woman going after her dreams with such passion and conviction that it’s almost inspirational.

It’s really too bad that this movie wasn’t about a woman struggling for what she wants and gets it in the end. It would have been fabulous if it had been. No, this movie was about struggling for what you want only to realize that that’s not what you wanted at all. What Donna truly wanted was to keep her man, no matter what the cost. Even if that meant giving up her dreams and staying in Cleveland so that his career could flourish. (Something that he wasn’t willing to do for her when the situations were reversed, I might add.)

The final frustration came from the ending, where it became very clear that the writers knew exactly what message they were sending… but didn’t want anyone to say their movie was sexist or pre-dated. The video pans through a commuter plane, where you expect to find Donna in her flight attendant uniform. Instead, the camera stills on Donna in the pilot seat, singing the last bits of the song in the background.

Inspirational? Uh, no. What you’re telling me is that since her dream to see the world didn’t work out due to her not wanting to be separated by her emotional attachment to the man she is in love with, well, she clearly strove for a different goal that has, one could assume, higher pay and more respect. Who says settling doesn’t come with perks?

After all, if you can’t have the world, at least you can have a position you never mentioned, even in passing, as something you’d desire.

Comments

  1. says

    That’s a really good catch, because on the surface it totally does seem like they’re saying her career benefited from her choice to give it up for a man. Of course, they don’t explain how this happens, and that’s the tip-off. Sheesh.

  2. says

    Growing up in a dysfunctional family caused this small-town girl to want to see the world.

    See, I can completely relate to this thought. And it shows how much they established her character’s desires and motivations as not having to do with *flying* perse, but rather with traveling, being mobile, experiencing constantly changing stimuli.

    Driving a commuter plane gives you none of those things, and basically reinforces the “bourgeois heterosexual stability is the way to go” message.

  3. Ifritah says

    And it shows how much they established her character’s desires and motivations as not having to do with *flying* perse, but rather with traveling, being mobile, experiencing constantly changing stimuli.

    Driving a commuter plane gives you none of those things, and basically reinforces the “bourgeois heterosexual stability is the way to go” message.

    *Nod* Exactly. The premise of the movie wasn’t about a girl who always dreamed of a man to come home to. It honestly made my jaw drop in shock at the complete veer from what, I had thought, the whole movie was about. Her relationship with her guy was never even a big part of the movie. It was a C-plot, at best.

    It was almost like the first writer died 3/4 of the way through creating the script and another writer had to finish it up.

  4. says

    Or like the script was written one way to start with, then “polished” by some suits (or their lackeys) who thought the script was pretty good, except for that weird confusion where it was like the woman didn’t revolve around a man. ;)

  5. scarlett says

    Incidentally, my boyfriend decided not to pursue FIFO work and make 2-3x what he’s currently making because FIFO work tends to jeapordise relationships and he decided I was more important than the money.

    In RL, I’ve seen several occasions when one couple has given up something career-wise for the relationship, and I’d say it’s about a 50-50 split between men and women. But in film and television, I see a lot of women suddenly deciding that what they REALLY want is a man and kids and that dream doesn’t mean anything to them anymore and blah blah blah. It’s a neat way of getting the woman to give up something for the man without making it look like she’s making sacrifices/making him look selfish for it.

  6. Ifritah says

    Or like the script was written one way to start with, then “polished” by some suits (or their lackeys) who thought the script was pretty good, except for that weird confusion where it was like the woman didn’t revolve around a man.

    You know, that wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

  7. Ifritah says

    In RL, I’ve seen several occasions when one couple has given up something career-wise for the relationship, and I’d say it’s about a 50-50 split between men and women. But in film and television, I see a lot of women suddenly deciding that what they REALLY want is a man and kids and that dream doesn’t mean anything to them anymore and blah blah blah.

    *Nod* Sacrifices for a relationship are not a bad thing. It’s hard to compromise, but as long as both people are compromising, it’s a part of any healthy long-lasting relationship.

    What really drove this the opposite way for me in the film was that he had the opportunity to sacrifice first, but he expected her to. The day Donna officially was cleared for New York was the same day her man graduated from law school in Cleveland.

    He had no commitments to speak of at that point, but he didn’t want to leave his home. He very well could have taken his degree and opened something in NY. It was his expectation of Donna giving up her dream to stay with him in a place he hadn’t even put career roots in that got to me big time.

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