Chalet Girl (12A)
Time Out rating:
<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5Rate this
Time Out says
Tue Mar 15 2011This loud, silly and surprisingly fun British comedy would be tough to bear without Felicity Jones or Bill Nighy and their easy-going charm and shoulder-shrugging approach to the wonky material in their hands. As it is, ‘Chalet Girl’ works well as the sort of throwaway, mainstream British farce rarely seen on our screens. Jones gamely plays against type as Kim, a teen server in a fast-food joint who lives with her unemployed father (Bill Bailey) and takes a job as a hostess – or chalet girl – at an upscale Austrian skiing resort to pay the bills.
Once on the slopes, she’s launched into a world of privileged lunacy, a magnified version of the King’s Road at 5,000 feet. Only Kim has a secret tool in her box: she used to be a skateboarding champion until her mum’s death – cueing the film’s biggest bum note – threw her life off balance. Will she rediscover her talent and show the poshos what for? Or will she fall for chinless wonder Jonny (Ed Westwick of ‘Gossip Girl’), son of her employers and bait for teen girls in the audience?
Corny and proud of it, ‘Chalet Girl’ has no pretensions beyond inspiring laughs and gathering empathy for an endearing central character. It pulls it off by balancing wild characters and wilder events with a down-to-earth approach to Kim driven by Jones’s grounded and likeable performance. The dialogue is more sensible than the plotting, allowing us to forgive the film’s more serious trespasses. And who can resist the sight of Nighy, as Kim’s wealthy employer, strutting his stuff from a private jet with Brooke Shields on his arm?
Author: Dave Calhoun