Australian Council on Children and the Media

View from the Top

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Parental guidance under 13 (Lang.)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for View from the Top
  • a review of View from the Top completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 28 July 2003.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Although there is nothing scary or violent in this movie to concern parents of young children, due to its content it would not be suitable for children under eight.
Children aged 8-13 Would need parental guidance to see this movie.
Children over the age of 13 Should be okay to see this movie depending on parentsu2019 interpretation of the content.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: View from the Top
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Medium level coarse language
Length 87 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

From a child Donna Jensen has yearned to escape from her small Nevada town and her ex-showgirl mother with her string of drunken boyfriends. One day watching television she sees Sally Watson, a very successful international air hostess, who believes that everyone should follow their dreams and be whatever they want to be. Donna is inspired to apply for a position as a flight attendant at Sierra Airlines, which is a small outfit that mainly flies ‘gamblers and drunks’. She befriends Christine and they share a good social life where she meets Ted, a student lawyer, who is having a break from studies and is enjoying life.

Donna, however, has higher ambitions and she and Christine both apply for a position at Royalty Airlines. Due to a mix up with the exam papers Donna is assigned to a local transit flight while Christine gets the New York – Chicago flight. This greatly disappoints Donna, as she believes it’s her destiny to be an international flight attendant. It turns out that Christine is not the friend Donna thinks she is and has badly betrayed her. Donna turns to Sally Watson, who is now a mentor for flight attendants, for help and she gets Christine fired. Donna finally meets her destiny and is assigned the Paris flight. However the promotion means she has to choose between Ted and her career.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is one violent scene in this movie when Christine attacks Donna and they get into a vicious fight.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

There is nothing scary in this movie.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

There is nothing scary in this movie.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

There is nothing scary in this movie.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

There is nothing scary in this movie.

Sexual references

There are a few sexual references including a homosexual one when the male flight attendant thinks one of the male passengers is making eyes at him.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is no actual nudity but a lot of very brief clothing, much cleavage, tiny bikinis, very short skirts, etc. While working for Sierra Airlines the girls have to wear very revealing clothing which is not respectful to women. In one scene Donna’s bikini top strap breaks and she has to hold it together while Ted fixes it. Donna and Ted sleep together.

Use of substances

There is quite a lot of drinking of alcohol in this movie:

  • Donna’s mother’s boyfriend is a drunk.
  • Donna’s mother drinks and smokes.
  • Drinking in hotels.
  • Drinking on flights.

One of the female flight attendants smokes cigarettes.

Coarse language

There is some use of coarse language including the following words:

  • shit
  • arse
  • screw you
  • bullshit
  • pissed off
  • ‘oh my God’.

In a nutshell

The take home message from this movie is that life at the top can be very lonely.

Values parents may wish to encourage include that people are more important than careers.

Values parents may wish to discourage include:

  • Girls and men need to be physically attractive to be flight attendants
  • Girls have to be prepared to wear revealing clothes to do their job
  • Christine is a liar, a thief and a cheat.
  • Violence as a way to solve problems.

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