7 out of 10
Release Date: 16th March 2011
Director: Phil Traill: (All About Steve)
Cast: Felicity Jones, Ed Westwick, Bill Nighy, Tamsin Egerton, Sophia Bush, Ken Duken, Nicholas Braun, Tara Dakides, Georgia King, Gregor Bloeb, Adam Boudouskous with Bill Bailey, Jessica Hynes-Stevenson and Brooke Shields
Writer: Tom Williams
Trailer: CHALET GIRL
Here’s one of those enjoyable yet slight comedies that rush by in the cinema schedules from time to time. You know the type, they usually star Simon Pegg. This one stars Felicity Jones (STAR WARS – ROGUE ONE), it was released at cinemas back in 2011 when she was at the start of her upswing as likeable lead. Looking back, this is probably her most fun film as she’s gravitated towards more serious fare as of late.
Chalet Girl is the story of a former skateboard champion who drops out of the sport after the untimely death of her mother. Her father (BILL BAILEY – HOT FUZZ) encourages her to take a job as a chalet girl in Austria. A resort-based job she’s required to live as a live-in cook and cleaner for an immensely rich British family, Dickie (BILL NIGHY – PRIDE), Caroline (BROOKE SHIELDS – THE BLUE LAGOON) and their so, Jonny (ED WESTWICK – GOSSIP GIRL). She is initially at odds with her snooty fellow chalet girl Georgie (TAMSIN EGERTON – THE LOOK OF LOVE) but she quickly wins people over with her sharpness and aptitude for the job. She quickly learns how to snowboard as well and sets her sights on winning a prize at the local extreme sports competition. She may also have time to fall head over heels for Jonny, who is already engaged to American socialite Chloe (SOPHIA BUSH – ONE TREE HILL).
The film itself never treats it’s plot obstacles as obstacles so the film spins along its breezy and predictable plot arc. You’re in no doubt that she won’t win the competition through a small twist of fate and that she won’t win Jonny’s heart. It’s all so unbelievably formulaic. That it’s still a good film is down to a funny script and some great performances. Even the potentially smarmy dreamboat, Ed Westwick puts in a good turn in a stock part. Elsewhere Bill Nighy plays Bill Nighy but with extra warmth. The baddies of the piece are pretty much neutralised by the fact that the good guys will always have a smarter quip and someone in authority to step and protect our hero. Most of the acting work is left to Felicity Jones and Tamsin Egerton, who make the most out of a very funny script.
The snowboarding scenes are well-shot and seemlessly edited so that at no point do we doubt whether or not our heroine is flying through the air or not. So for fans of ski-movies this has some fairly good material. One the whole Chalet Girl is little more than an update of Blue Juice, but where that film lacked a decent budget to carry off the stunts convincingly, Chalet Girl pips it to the post.
7 out of 10 – Very likeable yet formulaic spin on the rom-com genre. Good performances and a funny script put this one a nose ahead of the majority of similar films of its type.
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?
- Felicity Jones: Star Wars – Rogue One, Autobahn, The Theory of Everything, Amazing Spider Man 2, The Invisible Woman, Breathe In, Cheerful Weather for the Wedding, Hysteria, Albatross, Like Crazy, Soul Boy, The Tempest (2010), Cemetery Junction, Cheri
- Ed Westwick: Bone In the Throat, Take Down, Romeo & Juliet (2013), J Edgar, Son Of Rambow, Gossip Girl (TV)
- Bill Nighy: Dad’s Army, Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Pride (2014), I Frankenstein, About Time, The World’s End (voice), Jack The Giant Slayer, Total Recall (2012), Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Wrath Of The Titans, Arthur Christmas (voice), Rango (voice), Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows- part 1, Wild Target (2010), Glorious 39, The Boat That Rocked, Underworld 3, Valkyrie, Pirates Of The Caribbean 3, Hot Fuzz, Notes On a Scandal, Flushed Away (voice), Alex Rider- Stormbreaker, Pirates Of The Caribbean 2, Underworld 2, The Constant Gardner, A Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (2006), The Magic Roundabout (voice), Enduring Love, Shaun Of The Dead, Underworld, Love Actually, State Of Play (TV), I Capture The Castle, Auf Wierdesen Pet! (TV), The Lost Prince, Lucky Break, The Lawless Heart, Blow Dry, Guest House Paradiso, Still Crazy, Alive and Kicking (1996), Being Human, True Blue
- Tamsin Egerton: Grimsby, Love Rosie, Grand Piano, The Look of Love, Huge, 4-3-2-1, St. Trinians 1 & 2, Keeping Mum, Driving Lessons
- Sophia Bush: One Tree Hill (TV), The Hitcher (2007), John Tucker Must Die, Stay Alive
- Ken Duken: Northmen – A Viking Saga, Max Manus – Man Of War
- Nicholas Braun: Poltergeist (2015), The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Watch, Red State, Sky High
- Georgia King: Austenland, Cockneys Vs. Zombies, One Day, St Trinians 2, Tormented
- Bill Bailey: Never Mind The Buzzcocks (TV), Burke and Hare, Nanny McPhee 2, Hustle (TV), Dr Who (TV), Hot Fuzz, Saving Grace, Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (voice), Black Books (TV)
- Jessica Hynes-Stevenson: Swallows and Amazons (2016), W1A (TV), Nativity 2, Burke and Hare, Faintheart, Magicians, Son Of Rambow, Confetti, Bridget Jones 2, Pure, Spaced (TV), Born Romantic, Staying Alive (TV)
- Brooke Shields: Black and White (2000), The Midnight Meat Train, The Blue Lagoon, The Muppets Take Manhattan