Woman on Top (2000)

R  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy, Romance  |  22 September 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 8,250 users   Metascore: 41/100
Reviews: 85 user | 71 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

Brazilian chef Isabella Oliveira moves to San Francisco when her husband, frustrated by her motion sickness, cheats on her.



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2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Isabella Oliveira (as Penelope Cruz)
Monica Jones (as Harold Perrineau Jr.)
Alex Reeves (as John De Lancie)
TV Director
Claudia Hunter
Analu De Castro ...
Little Isabella - Age 2
Thais De Sá Curvelo ...
Little Isabella - Age 5
Eliana Guttman ...
Isabella's Mother
Eduardo Mattedi ...
Isabella's Father
Ana Paula Oliveira ...
Marilice Santos ...
Sexy Neighbor
Giba Conceição ...
Troubadour #1
Joaquim Pinto ...
Troubadour #2


Isabella is a great cook, making her husband's restaurant in Bahia, Brazil, a success. To control her motion sickness, she must do the driving and be on top during sex, which drives her macho husband, Toninho, to infidelities. Heart-broken, she leaves for San Francisco, moving in with her childhood friend, Monica, a cross-dresser. To mend her heart, she makes an offering to Yemanja, the goddess of the sea. The goddess responds: Isabella no longer loves and the fish in Bahia no longer bite. Stricken, Toninho heads north to get her back; he finds her hosting a popular TV show, Passion Food, courted by its producer. Can he learn humility? Can she find happiness without him? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


a sexy, delicious fairy tale See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

22 September 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Las mujeres arriba  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,008,191 (USA) (22 September 2000)


ESP 156,820,319 (Spain) (29 June 2001)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


All interiors for the San Francisco scenes were shot in soundstages in Brazil. See more »


The left shoulder of Isabella's red dress outside the TV studio. See more »


[talking to operator about Monica]
Toninho: But she's quite unique! She's 5'10, braids, great legs and... she's a man!
Operator: In San Francisco, that is not unique!
See more »


References Xena: Warrior Princess (1995) See more »


Written by J. Baird and Frank Gari
Courtesy of Legacy International
By Arrangement with Frank Gari Productions and Bully Music Associates
See more »

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User Reviews

Woman on Top
29 May 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I think you have to understand myth's and ideas in other parts of the world to be able to understand the movie. Personally, I loved it. It gives you that trip to Brazil without leaving your house.

The music was great, the story was a bit cheesy but refreshing. Open your eyes to other cultures. Allow yourself to enjoy the simple things such as cooking. I think it was sensual, funny and refreshing.

I think Penelope Cruz did a great job. Having seen most of her movies, I can say that her best movies are the ones that are not overly popular. Woman on top gives women the opportunity to be successful and show men that we can do it.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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