Chalet Girl (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner16/03/2011

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 96 mins

Hugely enjoyable feel-good British romcom, enlivened by a witty script, a terrific central performance from Felicity Jones, a superb ensemble cast and an infectious sense of fun.

What's it all about?
Directed by Phil Traill, Chalet Girl stars Felicity Jones as 19-year-old Kim Matthews, an ex-professional skateboarder who has retired from the sport following the death of her mother in a car crash. Left to look after her feckless but loveable dad (Bill Bailey), Kim decides to take a job as a chalet girl in an upmarket ski resort in order to pay off their debts.

On arrival, Kim is assigned to the luxury chalet of businessman Richard Madsen (Bill Nighy), along with posh co-worker Georgie (Tamsin Egerton) and it isn't long before she's caught the eye of Richard's son Jonny (Gossip Girl's Ed Westwick), even though he's supposedly engaged to the gorgeous Chloe (Sophia Bush). Meanwhile, after displaying some snowboarding skills, Kim is encouraged to enter the resort's pro-snowboarding competition that offers a £25,000 cash prize.

The Good
Rising star Felicity Jones is utterly adorable as Kim, displaying a neat way with a sarcastic one-liner and generating strong chemistry with both Ed Westwick (who leaves his Chuck Bass accent at home) and a scene-stealing Tamsin Egerton. The superb ensemble cast also includes terrific comic turns from the likes of Bill Bailey (who has a stay-at-home subplot all of his own), Bill Nighy, Brooke Shields (as Mrs Madsen) and Georgia King as Georgie's ditzy best friend.

The humorous script is frequently funny and if the plot itself is admittedly chock-full of feelgood clichés, the script at least knows how to deploy them correctly in order to get the desired emotional results. However, the one area that isn't clichéd is the relationship between Kim and Georgie, which quickly elbows the predicted snooty rivalry stuff out of the way in favour of a genuinely charming, nicely observed friendship.

The Great
The film is strikingly shot, with Ed Wild's glossy cinematography both making the most of the snowy landscapes and also going some way to disguise the relatively low budget on the film. There's also a well chosen soundtrack and Traill makes some impressively effective editing decisions, such as a nice moment where a scene of Kim cooking in the kitchen is overlaid with dialogue from another scene of her chatting with her father.

Worth seeing?
Effortlessly charming and frequently funny, Chalet Girl is a hugely enjoyable, sharply written and superbly acted feel-good film that does exactly what it sets out to do. Recommended.

Film Trailer

Chalet Girl (12A)
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Content updated: 18/07/2018 15:43

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