Lina Lamont

"What do you think I am, dumb or something?"

Chalet Girl

This review first appeared in the Sunday Star Times, 25th September 2011

In another variation on the traditional rom-com theme – girl-from-wrong-side-of-tracks meets boy-with-dosh – Chalet Girl  is an exercise in wish fulfilment if you fancy life on the Austrian ski slopes and 200 euro tips.

Felicity Jones (who most won’t remember from Cemetery Junction) plays the feisty Kim, who works in a hamburger joint in North London before taking a job in a ski chalet to support her widowed father (a subtly played Bill Bailey). We know she’s feisty because Kim doesn’t take any stick from anyone – not her catty fellow chalet girl Georgie, not the sleazy rich men who visit the lodge – and she knows the difference between sarcasm and irony.

Playing the Rochester to her Jane Eyre is rich kid Jonny. There is a certain satisfaction in seeing Gossip Girl‘s Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) speaking in his normal voice and actually cracking a smile. But first, Kim has to deal with some difficult memories and transfer her champion skateboarding skills to the slopes.

Can she make it? It’s actually hard not to care – for despite the by-numbers plot, over-reliance on Bill Nighy and the misjudged return of Brooke Shields, Kim’s story is fun, and stupid, and the snow looks awesome.  You go, girl!

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