Two years before the movie’s story begins, Kim Matthews (Felicity Jones) wins a huge skateboarding competition, but her mother dies in a tragic accident. Kim hasn’t skated since then. When the movie opens, Kim’s working in a fast food outlet and caring for her helpless father (Bill Bailey). She hears about a better paid job as a ‘chalet girl’. The job involves keeping house for the Madsen family in their Austrian ski chalet.
In Austria, Kim has to cope with being away from her father. She also has to fit in with a very unfamiliar way of life. Jonny Madsen (Ed Wetswick), the son of Dickie (Bill Nighy) and Caroline (Brooke Shields), helps Kim get used to the wealthy lifestyle. This includes drinking £500 bottles of champagne and helicopter trips to the top of the mountain.
In her free time, Kim tries snowboarding. Mikki (Ken Duken) helps her learn the basics, and she turns out to be a natural. Mikki encourages her to enter a snowboarding competition to win $25 000. Kim trains hard but struggles to overcome flashbacks to the car accident that killed her mother. Meanwhile, Kim’s unlikely relationship with Jonny develops as they share time on the slopes, much to the disapproval of his fiancée (Sophia Bush) and her mother.
Death of a parent; wealth; social class
This movie has some violence. For example:
- Kim keeps getting knocked over by other skiers on the mountain.
- A champagne cork hits Kim on the nose. She dabs her bleeding nose.
- Kim has flashbacks of the car accident that killed her mother. This involves the car skidding and falling over a bridge.
- After breaking off their engagement, Jonny’s ex-fiancée hits him in the groin with her crutch.
- Some characters say mean and nasty things to each other.
This movie has some sexual references. For example:
- An older man taps a younger girl on the bottom. She responds by pouring hot coffee on him.
- Characters talk about having ‘sex in the gondola’ and it ‘lasting 90 seconds’.
- Businessmen attempt to guess Kim’s bra size.
- Kim and the other chalet girl talk about ‘putting up with crude, sexual comments from businessmen’ because the men are big tippers.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
This movie has some use of substances. For example:
- Characters often drink at dinner and parties and in bars.
- Kim and her friends drink ‘shots’. Kim gets drunk and ends up naked in a spa bath. Then she climbs out into the snow.
- Kim has a beer. She says that she prefers the beer to talking to someone about her problems.
- A snowboarder injects herself with painkillers.
Nudity and sexual activity
This movie has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Couples kiss.
- A man wears a pair of brief speedos.
- Bar staff wear low-cut tops, which show cleavage.
- During a party at the chalet, naked men and women play in the snow and in the hot tub. Their backs and bottoms are shown.
- Kim stands naked in front of the Madsens’ car, outside in the snow.
- Kim and Jonny kiss and play-fight in the snow. They take off their clothes and lie in bed.
The following products are displayed or used in this movie: Red Bull, Snickers, Quiksilver, Roxy, Tesco, Apple, BMW and Adidas.
This movie has some coarse language and insults.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Chalet Girl is a romantic comedy for older teenagers. It showcases some amazing snowboarding and Austrian scenery. You should be aware that the sexual references, coarse language and alcohol abuse make it unsuitable for children and younger teenagers.
The movie’s main messages are about:
- overcoming tragedy – for example, Kim and her father have just ‘existed’ since the death of Kim’s mother. Kim has avoided doing the one thing that she loves – skateboarding. When she takes the job in Austria, she finds she loves snowboarding too. By owning up to her grief, she excels at snowboarding and does the best she can
- how money doesn’t make a perfect life – for example, although he has money and experiences that most people can only dream about, Jonny isn’t happy. He’s expected to marry an ‘appropriate person’ and take over the family business. This means he has to let go of his passion – music – and possibly his true love.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include strength, bravery, equality and friendship, even in unlikely circumstances.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the importance of:
- accepting people for who they are
- following true love
- getting professional help for grief and depression.