Chalet Girl was made in the wrong decade. A comedy about a working class girl (Felicity Jones) who finds the usual romance with a rich boy (Ed Westwick) amongst the slopes of the Alps would’ve been a perfect release during the ski-happy ‘80s. Teen comedies weren’t coming out en masse utilizing Colorado and the act of going downhill on some fresh snow but there were enough that it wasn’t an oddity either direct to video or in theatres. Now Chalet Girl feels slightly out of place, if only because it’s a rarity to see a romantic comedy based around skiing, as it’s the first skiing centric comedy in some time. Only Hot Tub Time Machine focused around similar circumstances, and that was more ‘80s centric than it was skiing centric.
Chalet Girl follows Kim (Felicity Jones), a champion skateboarder who now works flipping burgers. Taking a plush winter job at a chalet, worlds away from her job at a British version of McDonald’s, she discovers two things. The first is snowboarding, which rekindles her competitive drives. With the romance with the boy inspiring all sorts of problems of the usual sort, it comes down to a big competition at the end. Can she win the competition and his heart at the same time? The more important question is should we care.
It’s not that this is a bad film in the traditional sense; it’s fairly well put together and knows which emotions to press at the exact right times. In terms of a structured story it’s got all the bells and whistles you’d expect from this sort of film. The problem is that it really doesn’t do anything particularly well to stand as more than just a DTV release for two young actors on the rise. Both are going to probably do bigger and better things than this. Right now both have had some decent exposure, Jones with Like Crazy and Westwick in Gossip Girl, and this film is a solid contribution to their acting reel.
Chalet Girl is a solid romantic comedy but doesn’t offer much outside of those who are fans of the formulaic genre.
Presented in a widescreen format with Dolby surround, Chalet Girl has a perfectly acceptable transfer. It’s not the prettiest film in terms of landscapes, et al, but it comes through cleanly and clearly.
There are a handful of Interviews with the cast, a generic Behind the Scenes piece, some Viral Videos and YouTube Videos as well as the film’s Trailer are included. None of them add much back into the film, though.
Chalet Girl is a pedestrian film with a pedestrian DVD release.
IFC presents Chalet Girl . Directed by Phil Traill. Starring Felicity Jones, Ed Westwick, Brooke Shields, Sophia Bush, Bill Nighy. Written by Tom Williams. Running time 96 minutes. Not Rated. Released on DVD: January 31, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.