FELICITY Jones confirms her reputation as one of our brightest acting talents in Phil Traill’s life-affirming comedy about a young woman’s struggle to vanquish her inner demons.
The Birmingham-born actress is luminous in Chalet Girl, effortlessly slaloming between slapstick and heart-tugging emotion in Tom Williams’s predictable yet unabashedly crowd-pleasing script.
There is an honesty to the performance, which compels us to root for her embattled heroine as she searches for love across the class divide.
Co-star Ed Westwick, from TV series Gossip Girl, slips into his familiar role as the privileged, pouting love interest.
With a minimum of effort on his part, there are palpable sparks of on-screen chemistry between the couple as romance blossoms on and off the piste.
Tomboy skateboarding prodigy Kim Matthews (Jones) abandons the sport she loves after her life is touched by tragedy.
She settles for a humdrum job in a fast food restaurant so she can take care of her hapless father, Richard (Bill Bailey).
In order to earn more money, Kim accepts a position as an Alpine chalet attendant at the highly exclusive St Anton resort.
Within minutes of arriving, Kim is put in her place by resident queen bees Georgie (Tamsin Egerton) and Jules (Georgia King).
However, the new girl makes an immediate impression on playboy Jonny Madsen (Ed Westwick), son of wealthy, jet-setting couple Richard (Bill Nighy) and Caroline (Brooke Shields), who are renting the chalet that Kim has been hired to maintain.
Alas, he already has a snooty girlfriend, Chloe (Sophia Bush), who accompanies Jonny everywhere with her brother Nigel (Nicholas Braun) in tow.
Love across the class divide poses obvious problems, plus there is the addition distraction of a 25,000 dollar first prize in the Roxy Slopestyle Pro snowboarding challenge, which reignites Kim’s competitive spirit.
Thankfully, Finnish snowboarder Mikki (Ken Duken) is on hand to help Kim transfer her skateboarding skills to the slopes.
Chalet Girl whisks up a cocktail of frothy romance and effervescent sporting triumph against adversity, garnished with an upbeat contemporary pop soundtrack of Scouting For Girls, Eliza Doolittle, Paloma Faith and Ellie Goulding.
Jones is completely believable as the grief-stricken good girl who struggles to fit into her rarefied new surroundings.
“I’m stuck in a parallel universe where everyone drinks my monthly salary in a night!” she despairs.
Egerton and King summon two more posh harpies from the repertoire and Bailey milks easy laughs as the slovenly father who promises to bathe once a month.
Winter sports fans will enjoy a cameo from American snowboarding champion Tara Dakides.
She won gold medals at the Winter X Games and while Traill’s film doesn’t quite soar to those dazzling heights, it’s hugely entertaining and another assured step on Jones’s deserved ascent to stardom.