Today: April 17, 2024

Chalet Girl

The market for British rom-coms has pretty much been cornered by Richard Curtis, with his saccharine ‘love conquers all’ stories of bumbling idiots. Chalet Girl, however, offers more than just spluttering faux pas and farcical misunderstandings. Instead it offers a fresh, fun and funny fish out of water story about young love across an unspoken class divide. And, somehow, it’s also a sporting underdog story.

The market for
British rom-coms has pretty much been cornered by Richard Curtis, with his
saccharine ‘love conquers all’ stories of bumbling idiots. Chalet Girl,
however, offers more than just spluttering faux pas and farcical
misunderstandings. Instead it
offers
a fresh, fun and funny fish out of water story about young love across an
unspoken class divide. And, somehow, it’s also a sporting underdog story.

Kim (Jones) takes
a summer job as a chalet girl at a ski resort in the Alps, leaving her dad
(Bailey) to fend for himself. While there, she must work alongside her spoilt
co-workers, including the promiscuous Georgie (Egerton), while she herself falls for Jonny (Westwick), the son of the extremely rich chalet owner (Nighy).

At the same time, Felicity is hiding a secret – she was a
champion skateboarder at a young age until her mother died in a car crash on
the way home from one of her tournaments. Since then, Kim hasn’t been able to
step on a board but, in desperate need of money, she trains to enter a
snowboarding competition. Can she overcome her fears to win the tournament, win
over her fellow chalet girls and win the heart of Jonny?

Upon first glance, the film would appear to be marketed
directly at the teen girl audience, especially with Gossip Girl heartthrob Ed
Westwick as the love interest, not to mention One Tree Hill’s Sophia Bush
playing his fiancée. However, the film is a lot more grown-up that it would first
appear, refusing to pander to the rom-com rulebook by lending real tension and
drama to the more serious scenes.

Credit for grounding the film and thus making it more
palatable for anyone over 15 goes to Felicity Jones who, as the fiercely
independent and down-to-earth Kim, makes for an immensely likeable lead. While
she mostly gets a chance to show off a knack for comedy, the real surprise
comes during a scene where Jones gives an authentic performance of raw emotion
as she confides in a friend about how she has been affected by her mother’s
death.

And this is all while Chalet Girl still revels in knowing
clichés: between the blossoming romance and the tournament training, there are
more montages that you can shake a ski pole at. The film often borders on
cheesy, but never forgets to be fun first and foremost, which helps to make it
a surprisingly enjoyable film for those many that will be expecting an
unwatchable tweenie comedy.

To Pre-Order Chalet Girl on DVD Click Here on on Blu-Ray Click Here

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

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