This review contains mild spoilers
Chalet Girl proves that Felicity Jones (Like Crazy, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) has been lovable since she was a teen actress. Although the Cinderella-esque plot delivers nothing surprising nor special, Jones is able to lighten up almost every scenes with her cute inner spark and natural talent. Her Brummy accent excels and her being a prodigy at snowboarding (yes, Jones can really snowboard) nails the subplot essentials.
Kim (Jones) is a former skateboarding champ who has lost her battling spirit since her mother died in a car accident. She now lives with her unemployed father and a bland future of being a waitress in a fast food restaurant. Only after she gets accepted into a job of chalet girl in last minute, a slight hope is seen. The pay is good, Kim gets a chance to stay in Alps for a month, and her sporting spirit awakens, despite snow is a landscape not easy to conquer.
And it’s not only the snow. Life in Alps becomes uneasier for Kim when the clients she’s working for, return for a short holiday. She gradually becomes attracted with Johnny (Ed Westwick) who apparently visits with a girlfriend, Chloe (Sophia Bush). Cos despite Johnny shows her that he might feel the same, the social gap between the two will always be a barrier, especially to Johnny’s mother (Brooke Shields). And worse, Kim has no fairy godmother to help granting her wish of a prince charming.
Lucky, later Kim gets driven to learn snowboarding, especially after a competition of USD 25,000 is announced. She gets moral support from her colleague, Georgie (Tamsin Egerton) and intense coaching from local snowboarder, Mikki (Ken Duken). But Kim’s way to triumph isn’t an easy slope. Sometimes she needs to face some hills and stumbles. She’s also haunted by her mother’s death, the moment before the car crashed.
It’s All About Felicity Jones
We love watching this romcom flick over and over, just to find out that it’s all about Jones. Her spirit is vivid and her inner beauty is so visible, a rising star who now has gained the ultra stardom in this industry. Kim is a role specially made for Jones, to show that anyone special born with working-class status has a hidden, unpolished charm with an interesting way of revelation.
The subplot is subtle but effective with the beautiful backgrounds and relates well with Kim’s boyish and casual characteristics. The romantic spark is adorable, even most owes Jones for successfully breaking the ice with the cool, nice-looking Westwick. We got hooked learning that most of the casts, especially Jones practiced a lot for this role and finally became proficient in snowboarding. Chalet Girl also casts a pro in real life, Tara Dakides, who gets to support Kim during her moment of winning, becoming the fairy godmother she desperately needs.
Director: Phil Traill
Cast: Felicity Jones, Ed Westwick, Brooke Shields, Sophia Bush, Tamsin Egerton, Tara Dakides, Bill Nighy, Ken Duken
Duration: 96 mins