All Downhill: Teen Romance on the Slopes in Chalet Girl
Hot Dog The Movie and its disreputable ski-comedy ilk might have been a low point in cinema history, but at least their unbridled crassness had energy; Chalet Girl embraces similar 80s tropes for a lethargic you-go-girl fairy tale. When English tomboy Kim (Felicity Jones) takes a job working at a wealthy familys Austrian Alps getaway, so she can support her single dad, shes mocked by her bitchy blonde colleague (Tamsin Egerton) and discovers that her once-celebrated skateboarding skills translate quite nicely to snowboarding. Phil Traills film introduces class divisions and culture-clash tensions only to immediately pull its punches, having Kim overcome one adversity after another with almost supernatural ease. Romance between working-class Kim and princely employer Jonny (Ed Westwick) isdespite his engagement to Chloe (Sophia Bush) and the disapproval of his mother (Brooke Shields)as predictable as the many training-to-triumph montages and the climactic snowboarding competition, all of it formulaic pap treated with enervating earnestness. Jones is a passably plucky heroine, but from Kims efforts to overcome the trauma of her moms death to her accidentally falling on top of Jonny on the slopes, Chalet Girl is just a compendium of genre clichésminus the usual racism and t&a.
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