Movie review: ‘Chalet Girl’

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

It’s hard to underestimate the power of an ingénue you enjoy rooting for, and U.K. up-and-comer Felicity Jones is the kind of fresh-faced heroine — equal parts clear-eyed sass and waif-y optimism — who helps make the British romantic comedy “Chalet Girl” more enjoyable than it should be.

Jones plays a cash-starved ex-skateboarder named Kim who ditches burger flipping for a winter catering gig at a wealthy family’s Swiss chalet. The powdery Alpine terrain is no match in fluffiness, though, for the flag-marked route Tom Williams’ screenplay takes, as Kim finds friendship, a renewed sense of achievement and class-mixing romance (cue the bedroom glare of Ed Westwick as the much nicer version of his “Gossip Girl” rich boy, Chuck Bass).

Cinderella stories don’t come much more predictable than the happy-ending machine that is “Chalet Girl.” But the picturesque scenery, light touch of the cast — which includes Bill Nighy as Kim’s dryly observant boss — and breezy zip of director Phil Traill’s pacing appealingly pair with Jones’ irrepressible charm.

“Chalet Girl.” No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 36 minutes. At Laemmle’s Monica 4-Plex, Santa Monica.