Sunday, 7 October 2012

Chalet Girl (Traill, 2011)

A 19-year old ex-skateboarding champion from an underprivileged background has been looking after her couch-potato father since the death of her mother. Struggling to make ends meet, it looks like her luck is changing when she lands herself a high paying job - the catch being that in involves moving to Austria for four months. 

Within the first few minutes, the unmistakable face of Bill Bailey appears on the screen, assuring the audience that this is no ordinary "Brit-com". The subsequent arrival of British institution Bill Nighy confirms that this is one to stick with, and, following a brief detour into St. Trinians' style territory, we're en-route for a decent film.

The most visually noticeable way in which this differentiates itself from the usual monotony of the rom-com genre is the setting; gone is the generic, nameless metropolis that usually serves as the forgettable location for romantic near misses concerning middle-class, high-earning, well-dressed fashion types. Instead, we are facing, for the main part, a gorgeous mountainous setting, with a tomboy-esque female protagonist. In keeping with the generic conventions, once the base is laid, the plotline is largely predictable, yet still satisfying. 

The class divide between the protagonist and the family she finds herself working for sets the film up for several laughs, but the way in which she holds her own serves to have the audience rooting for her from the start. Couple this with several incidents which anyone who has attempted skiing or snowing will identify with, and the comedy just keeps coming.

A feel good British rom-com which, despite understandable predictability, remains light hearted and entertaining throughout.

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