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Movie Reviews

Chalet Girl



Released: April 16th 2011 (UK)

Director: Phil Traill

Stars: Felicity Jones, Ed Westwick

Certificate: PG (UK)

Reviewer: Luke Walkley

Kim (Felicity Jones) used to be a champion skateboarder, however since a tragic accident that saw her mother killed, she has found herself in a dead end job trying to support her father (Bill Bailey) Offered a job in a prestigious Ski Chalet in the Alps, Kim makes the big decision to move. With a chance to win a snowboarding competition being held that year, she must overcome her fears and deal with the distraction of her attractive boss Jonny (Ed Westwick)

Boasting a number of interesting names, Ed Westwick of Gossip Girl fame, as well as Bill Bailey, Bill Nighy, Sofia Bush and Brooke Shields, it seemed to be a more inviting prospect than the name might suggest. However, I must admit, it wasn’t exactly at the top of my must-see list.

The film takes an almost ironic stand point at times, mocking films for clichés so often seen in films of a romantic comedy disposition. The makers are more than aware that Chalet Girl is in fact, a rom-com, but it is refreshing to see the comical take on the genre.

The locations used really are beautiful, the Alps offer numerous beautiful backdrops for the film and the sunrise shots over the mountains are quite stunning. As well as the scenery, the film also has a well worked soundtrack, using some well known artists to break up some of the ski/love scenes. Songs from Paloma Faith and Lost Prophets are utilised to great effect and create entertaining montage scenes.

Felicity Jones has appeared in several well received dramas, such as Northanger Abbey, so it was interesting to witness her in a more modern role. While not the standard ‘Chalet Girl’ she appears quite plain and timid compared to Tamsin Egerton, who plays fellow Chalet Girl Georgie. Though there is something more likeable about her character Kim than meets the eye. Her reluctance to originally take the job in case her father is unable to cope without her offers a far more sentimental side to the film. Combine that with the tragedy that haunts her and it has surprisingly emotional undertones compared to what one might expect from such a film.

The inclusion of the snowboarding contest was all very well and good, its just far too short and mish-mashed. The flashbacks to her mother’s accident become too frequent and eventually lose the impact they were trying to have on the film and on Kim’s mentality of competing. The plotline thins far too much at this point and the already predictable storyline becomes even more transparent.

The chemistry between the leads is believable and both Westwick and Jones do a decent enough job in their roles. While the love between the two is acknowledged, it is never really emphasised enough. The supporting cast, as I mentioned are already established in the industry but Nighy and Bailey are the most influential on the overall feel of the film.

Chalet Girl is surprisingly fun, it’s an easy watch and while it’s not scoring perfect marks, it doesn’t fall flat on its face.

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