Woman on Top (2000)



Critic Consensus: Despite Penelope Cruz's beauty and charm, the movie is too tepid to be a romance and too silly to be believable. And the movie is too eager to please with an ending that seems more like a cop out.

Movie Info

Love, sex, and food combine in this sensuous romantic comedy. Isabella (Penelope Cruz) is a master chef who suffers from severe motion sickness, requiring her to be in control of her movements at all times. This need extends to the bedroom, but her husband Tonino (Murilo Benicio), who owns the restaurant where she works, doesn't like to make love in the fashion suggested by the title. This is hardly the only thing about their relationship that she finds stifling, and when Isabella discovers … More

Rating: R (for strong sexuality and language)
Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Vera Blasi
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 18, 2001
Box Office: $4.5M
Fox Searchlight - Official Site


as Isabella

as Alex Reeves

as TV Director

as Claudia

as Isabella Age 2

as Isabella Age 5

as Isabella's Mother

as Isabella's Father

as Sexy Neighbor

as Troubadour No. 1

as Troubadour No. 2

as Troubadour No. 3

as Nikos

as Serafina

as Maitre'D

as Seafood Restaurant M...

as Pierre Laroche

as Academy Student

as Tom Kelly

as Angry Fisherman

as Yemanja Waiter

as Prison Officer

as Gaffer

as Bar Waitress

as Bar Regular

as Flower Delivery Man

as Guard No. 1

as Guard No. 2

as Hippie Prisoner

as Photographer

as Jail Guard

as Food Stylist

as Niko's Mother

as Gaffer
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Woman on Top

All Critics (114) | Top Critics (34)

Hopefully, somebody soon -- maybe Billy Bob Thornton with the upcoming All the Pretty Horses -- will give this girl a real movie.

January 1, 2000
Mr. Showbiz
Top Critic

Cruz has everything it takes to be a big star, except maybe, in this case, the right movie.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Penelope Cruz and little else in this so-so comedy

Full Review… | January 2, 2011
Common Sense Media

"Woman On Top" is a chick flick with so much colorfully spicy Brazilian food being passed around as a shared aphrodisiac, that audience couples will be running out the cinema for food and bed.

Full Review… | May 16, 2009

Cruz smolders with sexuality.

Full Review… | September 16, 2007
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

Wildly mediocre.

Full Review… | September 23, 2006

Audience Reviews for Woman on Top

A cook moves from Brazil to San Francisco after she catches her husband cheating.
Motifs of sex, food, and voodoo comprise the plots of this light-hearted fairy tale. Penelope Cruz plays a woman who is so prone to motion sickness that she can only enjoy sex if she is on top, which drives her husband into the arms of another woman. The only way such a plot is remotely believable is if one suspends all disbelief. My brain is capable of such deceptive gymnastics. Instead, I found the film's light-hearted whimsy annoying and worthy of more than one eyeroll.
Cruz is sexy and fun, but into the second act, I felt that she had ceased to care as much as I.
Overall, unless foolish farce is your thing, stay the hell away from this film.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Other than crazy sexy Penelope Cruz, I think Harold Perrineau was my favorite part! Sassy crossdresser. Fab! However, I think the story kinda lacked and shouldn't have ended like it did (she went back to the jerk who cheated on her?! Really?!) ... BUT! I did like the fairytale aspect of it (I'm such a sucker for that kind of stuff) and it was pretty sexy.

Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

It was alright.

Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer

Woman on Top Quotes

– Submitted by Annie I (3 years ago)

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