Chalet Girl (2011) – Film Review
Teen comedies have always been a bit of an American thing. They always have the beautiful hot young stars and basically put all competitiors to shame. Chalet Girl, however, is a reasonable British effort by director Phil Traill. The story focuses on 19 year-old Kim Matthews (Felicity Jones) who is a bit of a tomboy and has always had an interest in skateboarding. Although crowned London Champion everything changes after an awful road accident and losing her mum.
Kim disappears off the skateboarding scene and takes to working in a fast food outlet and looking after her dad (Bill Bailey) most of the time. With bills piling up and her dad job hunting, Kim decides to try her luck at a try out for girls to work in chalets over the seasonal months abroad. The company usually look for middle to upper class girls, something Kim clearly is not, but she somehow strikes it luckily and heads to the Alps.
Like a fish out of water Kim doesn’t make friends easily, but she does find herself looking after one of the most luxurious chalets on the resort and gradually wearing down her snobby fellow chalet girl, Georgie (Tamsin Egerton). When the guests arrive there is even more excitment as one of them happens to the be the dashing Jonny (Ed Westwick), the son of a wealthy businessman who Kim has an instant attraction to.
When she isn’t cooking and cleaning she is letting loose on the slopes rediscovering her love for boarding, this time on snow and, with a little help from a new friend, she begins to regain confidence in her boarding, herself and in love.
Chalet Girl is a sweet, inoffensive romantic comedy and, despite not being set in Britain for most of the film, feels effortlessly British. The cast is a collective of UK talent including new-comer Fecility Jones as well as the likes of instantly recognisable Bill Bailey, Bill Nighy and Tamsin Egerton. The leading man, despite being best known for his role in US series Gossip Girl, is actually a Brit too.
Fecility Jones is quite an enchanting lead and watchable as Kim. Jones is a rising star and will soon be seen in the intense love drama Like Crazy. She has great British wit that all Brits will laugh at but, across the water, she might not come across as funny. She is sarcastic, dry and miserable, which works well. She is pretty in a down-to-earth sense which makes her a likable character for girls watching because of the chemistry between her and the leading man. Bill Nighy is always good for watching, his facial expressions and dry humour almost make him a necessity for a British film. Ed Westwick also isn’t bad – his character is likable and, as an audience, you do fall for him like Kim does. His accent is a bit weird, yoyoing between English and American, but this actually works well with the character.
Chalet Girl is a great girls night in flick with popcorn, make up and PJ’s.
Best scene: The Party Scene at the House and the “Chill Out” – Highly Embarassing
Best line: ‘No, the irony’s free, it’s the sarcasm you’re paying for. Ironically…’.
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