Starring: Felicity Jones, Tamsin Egerton, Bill Bailey
Director: Phil Traill
Running Time: 97 mins
Chalet Girl is a British film about a woman from a poor background who, while looking for a job to support her family after her mother’s death, is called up to be a chalet girl for a wealthy man in the Austrian mountains.
I had a lot of fun with this film. On the one hand, it does follow a fairly generic and predictable story, particularly when it comes to the central romance, but on the other, it’s a movie that’s full of energy and spirit, as well as some good humour and a collection of entertaining performances across the board, all of which come together to make it a rather surprising joy to watch.
Let’s start off with one of the film’s brightest sparks, the lead performance from Felicity Jones. Back in the time before she really hit the big time, this is a lovely turn from the actress that confirms her effortless likability and natural talent. While her working class accent isn’t quite flawless throughout, the rest of her performance here is an absolute delight to watch, and she does a fantastic job at drawing you in to really sympathising with her character.
As a result, there’s a surprising amount of the story here that I was genuinely invested in. At first, her search for work to help look after her father following a family tragedy cements her as a kind-hearted individual, and also the way that she grows as she is thrown into a world completely alien from her own, refusing to work with a chip on her shoulder and instead pushing forward with determination and glee.
The great thing about this film is that, while it’s full of predictable genre tropes, ranging from cheesy rich man falls in love with poor girl romance and cheesy inspiring sports action, it’s so full of positivity and energy that it’s an absolute joy to watch regardless.
Along with the excellent establishment of a very likable central character, Chalet Girl is a film that buzzes from beginning to end, in part with its optimistic story, but also because it’s complete with great directing, an energetic soundtrack, and the odd moment of properly funny humour, all of which comes together to make it a thoroughly enjoyable movie from beginning to end.
It is a fairly simple movie that doesn’t have all that much unpredictability or originality, however it proves that with a good bit of energy and genuine optimism, even the simplest films can prove thoroughly entertaining, and that’s why I’m giving Chalet Girl a 7.4 overall.