Finally, a book about the greatest film of our generation! What film, you may ask? What film does Richard Ayoade venerate, dissect, cling to, and live for? Richard Ayoade; the author of several books on film, director and writer of several films, host of a delightful travel show, and beloved cast member/co-creator of Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace (and many other things) has written an entire book about the forgettable 2003 Gwenyth Paltrow rom-com View From the Top.
Yes, View From the Top; the movie where Mike Myers uses having crossed-eyes as the height of comedy. I truly do not remember if I have actually seen this movie, but I will have Myers bellowing “em-PHA-sis on the wrong syl-LAB-le” stuck in my head until the end of time as we know it. While I found the existence of this movie to be a perpetual annoyance, Ayoade presents it as stone-cold brilliance.
Ayoade gives View From the Top the groveling, pretentious, over-the-top treatment that is usually reserved for the titans of classic cinema. He is so very serious and so very silly. He claims to have watched at least part of the film every day for the last three years. He drools over the dopey choices made throughout the film. He expands on the world around View From the Top and flies it into our current world nightmare; Trump appears several times and the barbs directed his way are far from satire. Ayoade’s style is drier than a desert of unbuttered toast. It is frequently difficult to parse jokes from actual observances, but it is very clear when he is directing is wit towards the wealthy morons doing everything they can to ruin the world for generations to come.
I must recommend that if you do choose to enjoy this book, do it via audio book. Ayoade reads it himself, and his voice as a writer is best embodied by his voice as a performer. Am I going to give View From the Top a chance? Absolutely not! Am I going to spend too much time thinking about it? Yes, yes I am.