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Chalet Girl


Stars: Felicity Jones, Ed Westwick, Bill Nighy, Tamsin Egerton, Bill Bailey, Brooke Shields, Sophia Bush

Director: Phil Traill

This UK romantic comedy set on the ski slopes of Austria starts well, but gets held up in its romantic sub-plot and, er, goes downhill from there on.

Petite, perky Jones is Kim, a one-time teenage skateboarding champ who now works in a burger bar (since her mother's death in a car crash), looking after her vest-clad father (an unusually sympathetic Bailey). Looking for (slightly) more fulfilling work, she gets offered the job of a maid/cook/cleaner at a posh ski resport. At first, she falls foul of her upper-class housemates, but begins to win them over with her natural wit (and cooking abilities),

The film rather neglects this angle to its detriment, however, when a banker (Nighy) and handsome son Johnny (Westwick) arrive on the scene. The rest is formula romcom, with Kim entering a big snowboarding competition, chickening out on a big jump when remembering her's mother's car crash, being demoted to first reserve for the final, but getting in because...of an event too unbelievable to relate.

The chirpy Jones is predictably good, but her role gets less interesting, like the film, as the story, if you can call it that, progresses. Nighy is drily amusing in the kind of part he does well (although he has too little screen time) but the snowboarding final is somewhat underwhelming. A potential success, then, that somewhere lost its way.

David Quinlan

UK 2010. UK Distributor: Momentum. Technicolor.
97 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 11 Mar 2011