Francesca Rudkin

Francesca Rudkin is an entertainment reviewer for NZ Herald.

Movie Review: Chalet Girl

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Felicity Jones is natural as the tomboyish Kim. Photo / Supplied
Felicity Jones is natural as the tomboyish Kim. Photo / Supplied

An unassuming and sassy British romantic comedy aimed at adolescent females, Chalet Girl takes the classic Cinderella premise and gives it a modern-day working over.

As you'd expect it's in large part predictable and formulaic; but it's also fun, sassy and, thanks to its gung-ho heroine, rather charming. The lead character Kim (Jones) provides a refreshing point of difference, she's got her head screwed on right, and is more interested in looking after her family and making something of herself than she is in landing Prince Charming.

Twenty-eight-year-old Felicity Jones (Cemetery Junction) does well with the role of Kim, a 19-year-old skateboarding champion who quits to support her unemployed father (Bill Bailey) after the tragic death of her mother in a car accident. Desperate for money she accepts a job as a chalet girl in a flash ski resort in Switzerland, which as it turns out isn't a great place to be if you're poor, have never been on skis, and struggle to open champagne bottles.

It's not long though before Kim has strapped on a snowboard and, after some guidance from Winter X Games champion Tara Dakides in a cameo appearance, is well on her way to becoming a world-class snowboarder. She also manages to catch the eye of the rather good-looking Jonny (Ed Westwick - looking like he's stepped straight off the Gossip Girl set), the son of her wealthy employer (Nighy).

A little surprisingly, Chalet Girl then turns into a cross between a rom-com and a snowboarding film as Kim prepares to compete in a snowboarding competition. It's not an unwelcome twist; the scenery is beautiful and the snowboarding mesmerising, which creates a nice distraction from the cheesier romantic elements of this spunky girl from the wrong side of the tracks meets cute rich boy routine.

Jones is very natural as the tomboyish Kim and, along with Nighy, gets all the smart, witty lines.

It's not laugh-out-loud stuff, in fact at times the script boarders on being cringe-worthy, but the sharp one-liners it does deliver and its determined protagonist keep the film moving along quite enjoyably. It'll do nicely for the teen girls out there.

Stars: 3/5
Cast: Bill Nighy, Ed Westwick, Felicity Jones
Director: Phil Traill
Running time: 97 mins
Rating: PG (Contains coarse language)
Verdict: Simple and sweet teen rom-com

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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