At 19, Kim (Jones) has retired from her promising career as a pro-skateboarder, due to her mother's death in a car crash. Working tedious jobs to care for her unemployed dad (Bailey), she jumps at the chance to earn more money in a posh ski chalet in Austria for four months. Working alongside experienced chalet girl Georgie (Egerton), she makes two discoveries: first the wealthy owners (Nighy and Shields) arrive with their gorgeous son Jonny (Westwick), and then a Finnish guy (Duken) introduces her to snowboarding.
No prizes for guessing where this story goes. Jonny may be engaged to a rich American (Bush), but he clearly has eyes for Kim. And then there's the snowboarding competition at the end of the season, just in time to wrap up the plot's loose ends. In other words, there's never the slightest bit of suspense, and yet the cast is charming enough to make us ignore the clanking formula. And the script is packed with snappy oneliners that keep us laughing.
The sparky Jones actually manages to upstage Nighy, which is no mean feat, while convincing us as both a skilled athlete and a girl who might capture a rich, attached hunk. Her chemistry with Westwick is believably hesitant, as is the interaction with his parents, fiancee and her dorky brother (Braun).
Everyone gets the chance to steal a scene or two, and even though some characters are self-absorbed or stupid, everyone's likeable.
Meanwhile, director Traill makes the most of the spectacular mountain scenery, as well as apres-ski life in both the massive chalet and the energetic bars. In other words, it's not easy to watch this film without wanting to hit the slopes yourself. And if people in ski resorts this much fun, and as interested in finding true love (at least for a day or two), applications for chalet girls will probably skyrocket because of this film. Even if it's obviously pure fiction.
Run time: 97 mins
In Theaters: Friday 14th October 2011
Box Office USA: $1.2k
Box Office Worldwide: $4.8M
Distributed by: IFC Films
Production compaines: Kaleidoscope Films, UK Film Council, Aegis Film Fund, Prescience
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 79%
Fresh: 33 Rotten: 9
IMDB: 6.3 / 10
Director: Phil Traill
Producer: Wolfgang Behr, Pippa Cross, Dietmar Guntsche, Harriet Rees
Screenwriter: Tom Williams
Starring: Felicity Jones as Kim, Ed Westwick as Jonny, Brooke Shields as Caroline, Bill Nighy as Richard, Tamsin Egerton as Georgie, Bill Bailey as Bill, Sophia Bush as Chloe, Gregor Bloéb as Bernhard, Adam Bousdoukos as Willy, Nicholas Braun as Nigel, Tara Dakides as Herself, Ken Duken as Mikki, Abbie Dunn as Amy, Patrick Finger as Race Guy
Like an antidote to vacuous blockbusters, this intelligent, thoughtful drama packs more intensity into a...
This biopic gallops through the career of groundbreaking gangsta rappers N.W.A, working its way through...
Basically the perfect summer movie, this lightweight drama has a great-looking cast and plenty of...
As the ghoul from the 2012 horror hit stalks a new family, this sequel's sharply...
After setting the scene with vivid characters and some insightful interaction, the plot of this...
Both the characters and the tone have been updated as a new generation of Grizwolds...
Amy Schumer makes her big screen debut with a script that feels like a much-extended...
Adopting a deliciously groovy vibe, Guy Ritchie turns the iconic 1960s TV spy series into...