Flight Plan

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By Mark Ramsey | 2005/09/27

From wheels-up to touchdown, Flightplan may be the priciest Lifetime TV movie of all time.

“I’m happy to yield the starring role to Jodie Foster,” said Lifetime perennial Connie Sellecca, long time spouse of New Age angel of positivity John Tesh. “Besides, science called and asked that I donate my brain.”

Welcome to Foster Air, where “friends who smoke cloves fly free.”

Never is there any food seen on this plane, thus making the experience completely true-to-life. I was on USAirways the other day and they don’t even have pretzels any more, as if flightplan_electronics.jpghostile weather conditions blighted the world’s pretzel crop and in their place the crew has been trained to twist your drink napkins into fanciful origami shapes.

And speaking of pretzels, leave it to theatrical exhibitors to take an already heinous food product optimistically called a “gourmet pretzel” and toss it into the fiery pit of gastronomic Hell by retrofitting a Cinnabon in the middle and dubbing it “CinnaPretzel.” Then they have the audacity to trademark the term, as if it ranks anywhere near the top of the list of ideas worth stealing. If my mouth is watering, it’s not this bakery Frankenstein, it must be the Novocain. I’d sooner eat feathers off a fish.

So Jodie loses her daughter on a plane. I don’t know about you but the only thing I ever lost on a plane is control of my bladder.

How do you lose a little girl on a plane? Well, it helps for Hollywood to invent an obscenely big plane. It will never land in Providence because the plane itself is bigger than Rhode Island.

“Where is my daughter?!” asks Jodie. “Did you search the plane’s tennis courts? The plane’s new ballpark? The plane’s all-inclusive beach resort? Get me this plane’s governor! NOW!”

But…is Jodie’s daughter long-dead and is Jodie certifiably nuts? “I will bet every pair of bookish glasses and sensible shoes I own that my daughter lives!” said a convincing Jodie.

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Jodie is the ultimate kick-ass mom. She goes balls-out (no pun intended) to find her daughter:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the captain speaking. We are going to search the plane for Jodie Foster’s daughter, because it’s a lot more credible than searching for any boy she has ever kissed.”

Did Jodie’s daughter vanish into thin air? Wait, the girl must be real because she drew a heart in the CGI moisture on the plane’s window! Somebody’s in some CGI trouble, because you have riled up Jodie’s maternal CGI instinct and now you’re in for a CGI ass-whooping!

With Flightplan and Panic Room before it, Jodie has proven that nobody can do a better job of protecting their kids in tight spaces. But can she survive a road trip to Yosemite?

Jodie: “No, we are not there yet.”

The kids: “We didn’t say anything.”

Jodie: “I was talking to the au pair, the nanny, the valet, and mommy’s special lady-friend with the buzz cut and the Marlboro reds.”

In a cruel case of art imitating what is likely to be life, Erika Christensen is featured as a flight attendant.

And Peter Sarsgaard, inexplicably popular among casting agents and inexplicably ordinary on the big screen, is a fellow passenger with secrets to hide, such as where did Boromir find the time to earn his pilot’s wings?

“It’s about time I’m on a plane,” said Sarsgaard, “because my acting is in an upright and locked position.”

Into the various crawl spaces goes Jodie, who knows all the in’s and out’s of this plane because she designed the engines and played eighteen holes of golf with them on the LPGA tour followed by a torrid weekend in Key West.

“These engines are one Sartre novel away from winning my heart,” said Jodie as the whirring rotor danced in her eyes. “Finally, I fancy a turboshaft!”

Flightplan takes off from solid ground, circles for a few minutes, then lands at Over-the-Top International Airport. But Jodie is so appealing, so just plain good, that Flightplan is a pleasure to watch. And maybe it’ll make more moms keep their kids off the plane.

Especially in my row.


Photo Copyright ©2005 Touchstone Pictures

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