Written by Books

Ayoade On Top by Richard Ayoade

The premise of this book is so ridiculous that I wouldn’t have given it a second thought, had I not heard a really good review of it. I got the audio book of this, and it was laugh out loud funny – I had to be careful where I listened to it!

View From The Top is a 2003 romcom (or “dramedy” as Ayoade would have it), that you and I have never heard of. It’s a real film starring Gwyneth Paltrow as Donna, a woman who aspires to become an “airline stewardess” (Ayoade notes that throughout the film, they use this rather than the less gendered “cabin crew”). In particular, she hankers to work long haul on flights to Paris.

This book treats this film – a film that had a delayed release due the events of 9/11 – as a masterpiece, and gives it lavish scene by scene coverage, examining in excrutiating detail everything that happens throughout the film. He of course has long divergences into themes that the film covers – the reality of working as a member of flight crew not least, and while seemingly considering the director an auteur, he viciously deconstructs the film at the same time.

It’s a terrific pastiche of what is quite obviously an incredibly poor film – albeit one which also features Christina Applegate, Mark Ruffalo and Mike Myers. Having listened to this book, I am almost tempted to hate-watch the film. That’s £2.49 and 87 minutes of my life that I’d never get back though.