' ' Cinema Romantico: Chalet Girl

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chalet Girl

You might be asking yourself, "Why did Nick watch a movie called 'Chalet Girl?' A movie billed on Netflix thusly: 'Ex-skateboarder Kim Matthews is transplanted to the world of alpine sports, an environment she finds foreign ... until she tries snowboarding.'" The answer could be one of two things, or perhaps a mixture of the two. 1.) He needed a movie post basketball & drinking and pre-more basketball and drinking and "Black Narcissus" on DVR just wasn't going to do. 2.) He wants to live in a world where Bill Nighy and Brooke Shields are married.

Felicity Jones, resembling an Ellen Page from Essex with a fetching overbite, is the aforementioned and 19 year old Kim. Tapped with caring for her comedically forgetful father she forsakes her crummy burger-slinging job for a 4 month stint as an, ahem Chalet Girl in the Austrian alps. Her fellow Chalet Girl, who initially exists as her enemy and calls everyone "babes" (before the screenplay completely forgets she was calling everyone "babes") before - REVERSAL!!! - becoming Kim's ally is totally posh Georgie (Tasmin Egerton), a Gisele Bunchden-ish Katherine Heigl from Kensington (?). The chalet to which they tend is owned by Richard (Nighy, who appears to have allowed his twin brother Jim Nighy do all the acting for him) and Caroline (Shields) and their son Jonny (Ed Westwick) who is engaged to Chloe (Sophia Bush). They guffaw about subprime mortgages while sipping Dom on scenic mountain peaks which they have reached via helicopter.

Meanwhile, Kim puts her ex-skateboarding skills to good use, although she does occasionally suffer from Ted Striker-like flashbacks from Something Bad That Happened In Her Past, on the slopes, taking up snowboarding and meeting Mikki (Ken Duken) who becomes her hillside mentor. Within the space of, oh, about the time it takes to boil a hot dog, "A Chalet Girl that doesn't ski" to snowboarding off ramps and onto picnic tables, making like an English Tara Dakides, who plays herself as the righteous American snowboarder she is.

And so Kim will juggle courting Jonny despite his engagement with training for the Roxy Slopestyle Pro which will bring her and her comedically forgetful father the riches of which they dare not dream. She juggles it primarily via an unrelenting inundation of montages all set to crappy pappy pop songs that seem more suited to Chloe than to Kim. Is it predictable? Well, of course it's predicable. After all, as a character helpfully explains: "This isn't Jane Austen."

You're damn right, it's not! It's "Chalet Girl"! It's "Blue Crush" Meets "License To Drive"! It's as harmless as a bunny hill at Fun Mountain in Montezuma, Iowa! You're going to watch this 84th Montage in 54 minutes and like it! Stop whining, Nick! Do you hear me?! You chose to watch this! Skateboard Spice is gonna win the Big Competition, make friends with Georgie, get The Guy even though he "withheld the truth", and get hit with a flirtatious snowball in the final frame and if they choose to freeze the final frame, well, that's because freezing the final frame is still really, really trendy. Right? Isn't it?

Basically that mandatory hot tub they all hop into at one point really needed to be a time machine that took everyone back to the Cortina d'Ampezzo in 1963. Or they needed more Gretchen Bleiler. Which is to say they needed any Gretchen Bleiler.

"Here's the pitch: it's 'Chalet Girl' meets 'Hot Tub Time Machine' starring Gretchen Bleiler."


Andrew K. said...

It's so weird, I have read at least five reviews of this movie from friends and I have no desire to see it, and I'm sure the people who reviewed it had no desire either. I remember someone saying that Ed Westick had an awful British accent in this. "But, Ed is a British", says me. "I know." was the reply...which I guess says all that needs to be said about what time of movie this is.

Nick Prigge said...

I wish I could even explain what drew me to it with so many on-demand options. I mean, it's really harmless and all but, well, you know.