Director: Phil Traill
Cast: Felicity Jones, Ed Westwick, Bill Bailey, Bill Nighy, Sophia Bush & Brooke Shields
Every now and then a film comes along of such little worth, such little artistic merit that it should be pulled from cinemas, incinerated and then buried in a dankly remote bog. Chalet Girl, a self-proclaimed “Snow-mantic comedy” is such a film.
This cinematic miscarriage tells the story of Kim (Felicity Jones) who used to be skateboarder but now works in a burger bar because her mother died and her father is a shut-in. For some reason she then takes a job looking after the lodge of a wealthy family in the Alps. Although there are initial hurdles (such as her hatred of other people, her hatred of the affluent, her hatred of skiing) she somehow overcomes them and then manages to sleep with Ed Westwick. Hurray.
The most damning thing about director Phil Traill’s sophomore effort (his previous opus was last year’s abhorrent All About Steve) is its complete lack of redeeming characteristics. Every single vaguely amusing line (most often delivered by one of the two Bill’s in the cast- either Nighy or Bailey) is almost immediately spoiled by one of intensely profound excruciation. Limping along from poor set-ups to glaringly obvious conclusions, the films ninety-seven minutes feels three times as long. Kim accidently puts caviar on scrambled eggs! Kim throws a house party and someone breaks the stereo! Kim has a jarring flashback to her mother’s grisly death and she falls over skiing! If this wasn’t enough, saccharine pop songs are crudely slathered over nearly everything- ensuring that any schadenfreude one could reap from watching Kim’s wretched pratfalls is sapped entirely by the constant presence of the inane soundtrack.
However, according to a Telegraph article, Chalet Girl is based on the genuine practice of sending the daughters of Britain’s elite to toil in ski-lodges as maids/nannies/mistresses so they may glean some ‘real world experience’. If only Chalet Girl approached anything of the abject darkness of that article. If only the part where Kim miraculously discovers she is a dab hand at snowboarding could be replaced with her beginning a maliciously illicit affair with Bill Nighy’s jaded patriarch. If only.
However if you’re the kind of person who might quite fancy watching Felicity Jones comically sliding down a ski-slope on her stomach to the strains of Paloma Faith’s ‘Upside Down’, well then fuck you.
The trailer to Chalet Girl