Reviewer's Rating 3 out of 5  
Woman on Top (2001)
15

If you're dreaming about your next holiday you might want to use "Woman on Top" for some deliciously exotic inspiration.

Isabella (Cruz) is a young Brazilian woman who cooks and looks like an angel. Unfortunately for her, and everyone she associates with, she suffers from severe motion sickness which means she must always be in control - if she and her husband Toninho (Benicio) drive anywhere, she must take the wheel; if they take a lift, she must walk. More importantly: when they are in bed, she must be on top.

This relegation in the sexual power game offends Toninho's red-blooded instincts and while Isabella slaves over the stove at their successful restaurant, he plays away - until she catches him. Distraught, she flees (with a load of air-sick bags) for the comforting arms of her cross-dressing friend Monica in San Francisco. From there, her life takes yet more twists and fame seems to beckon.

Torres' playful and whimsical film is the ideal tonic for the winter blues, bursting with sunshine, fantasy, and mouth-wateringly fiery food. Cruz is wonderfully ditzy as the innocent abroad, though it's Harold Perrineau Jr as Monica who pockets the movie with his sly comic timing and natty line in ladies underwear.

A slightly flabby script and an obtrusive sub-plot involving corporation versus artistic integrity aside, this is charming, feel-good fluff which should satisfy every palate.

Visit the official "Woman on Top" website.

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End Credits

Director: Fina Torres

Writer: Vera Blasi

Stars: Penélope Cruz, Murilio Benicio, Harold Perrineau Jr, Mark Feuerstein

Genre: Drama

Length: 92 minutes

Cinema: 26 January 2001

Country: USA

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