Projections - Movie Reviews

Woman on Top Woman on Top

Imagine a beautiful woman cooking a dish as spicy as she then toss in a little black magic.  Woman on Top has all these ingredients, but like a bread without yeast, it never rises to its potential.

Woman on Top revolves around Isabella (Penelope Cruz) and her husband Toninho (Murilo Benicio).  Isabella is cursed and gifted at the same time.  Her curse is a type of motion sickness that allows her to drive and make love only if she is doing the actual "driving" in both cases.  Her gift is the ability to create palate tantalizing Brazilian dishes.  The fact that she is herself a "dish" is just a plus.  Husband Toninho is the ever charming front man for their restaurant and uses Isabella's cooking talent to make a name for himself.  Toninho as has a problem with Isabella's need to be in control - on top, so to speak.

After discovering Toninho in bed with a neighbor, Isabella flees to America.  Combine a resentment for his betrayal and a little black magic, and Isabella no longer loves Toninho and ends up with her own television cooking show.   She is magic to the camera.  The combination of an exotic woman and exotic food is a combination that is hard to resist.

What follows is a spiral into cliché and well used plot.  Toninho follows attempting to win her love back;  Isabella trying to start a new life; and a very predictable boy gets girl ending.

Woman on Top could have sizzled if the screen chemistry and character development had been allowed enough screen time.  As in many recipes, you may have all the ingredients for success, but it's the master chef who knows how to combine and serve them.  Unfortunately, director Fina Torres seems to need to allow plots of this nature to simmer a bit more before serving.

Woman on Top

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