View from the Top (2003) is a movie about flight attendants. Donna (Gwyneth Paltrow), a small-town girl, dreams of escaping the dead-end life in her town and wishes to get out of it to see the world. She reads a book by a popular flight attendant Sally Weston who writes about her free travels around the world. Donna becomes a flight attendant at a small commuter airlines, hoping to transfer to a bitter international airline later. However, her personal life and professional rivalries keep her from fulfilling her dream. She eventually does fly international to the destinations she had been dreaming of, only to realize that happiness was to be found in other things than just counting the number of countries you get to fly to. The movie was not very liked by critics. I did like it though for two reasons- One, it accurately potrays that becoming a flight attendant is a dream for many young small-town girls. Second, it does a good job of communicating that when it comes to professional work “all that glitters is not gold”. The movie does a decent job of presenting the flight attendant profession, the training, the challenges, and the politics in the job.
There are parts of the movie that can be effectively used in Human Resources and Organizational Behavior classes. Of course, it is a good movie for flight attendant training classes. And, for a more general audience, the DVD may be worthwhile to buy simply for a useful bonus feature on the history of the flight attendant profession.
(I am certainly curious as to what actual flight attendants think about this movie. So, if you are a flight attendant reading this blog, I would love to hear from you).