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:: Chalet Girl

Ah, the teenage romance film. It has long been a genre that the Americans have made their own, but now with Chalet Girl the Brits have joined in on the party and will most likely walk away with some healthy box office takings for their effort. The fact that Chalet Girl seems to be more enjoyable than any teen-roms that the Yanks have produced recently even makes the watch enjoyable.

Kim (Felicity Jones) has had to grow up since her mother’s death in a car accident. Her promising skateboarding career was put on hold as she was forced to look after her father, Bill (Bill Bailey) whom seems to have never recovered emotionally from the accident. But now money is tight so working-class Kim has to turn her back on her fast-food job and heads to Austria where she becomes a ‘chalet girl’ working for the posh Richard (Bill Nighy). She does have her problems though as her co-worker, Georgie (Tamsin Egerton) is classist bitch and Kim develops a crush on Richard’s son Jonny (Ed Westwick) who is ‘almost engaged’ to Chloe (Sophia Bush).

These ‘poor’ girl stories seem to have been told for many years now, so it’s refreshing to see one like Chalet Girl be told with a few differences, well on big difference in fact as the screenwriter, Tom Williams has managed to incorporate a story not too dissimilar to The Mighty Ducks or Step-Up into the mix. The fact that his one-liners and the character of Kim work certainly go a long way to endearing this movie to an audience. The fact that director, Phil Traill remembers that even teen-romances deserve some good visuals means at the end of the day you actually have quite a good film on your hands.

The casting of Chalet Girl is yet another reason why it works. Felicity Jones works hard at her role and the goods are there for all to be soon but it is the two Bill’s that steal the show. Bill Bailey plays the forlorn father really well while Bill Nighy manages to steal the limelight in every scene he is in and after a while you find yourself sitting there eagerly awaiting his next witty one-liner.

Yes, Chalet Girl is a clich√© but Williams has done well enough with the script to make the film enjoyable, and even though you’ll probably be able to predict how this film is going to end well before it does, you’ll still enjoy the journey there. This time a director and screenwriter seems to have nailed the teenage romance genre.