Chalet Girl, Austenland & Endless Love Movie Reviews (A Chick Flick Special)

Look at me, watching chick flicks! WHAT?! Well, it happens occasionally – I am a girl, after all. πŸ˜‰ I just watched Chalet Girl a week ago but the other two were at least a year ago & I never got around to reviewing them so it made sense to do three “chick flick quickies” together. Chicky Flicky Quicky??

Anyway, regulars here will know that I’m not really a chick flick type of girl. My type of chick flick usually involves women kicking ass. Give me Ellen Ripley & Furiosa over romantic bullshit! (Okay, or Drew Barrymore – I watch all of her stuff). So what did I think of these three girly movies? Let’s see!

Chalet Girl (2011)

Directed by Phil Traill

Starring: Felicity Jones, Ed Westwick, Tamsin Egerton, Ken Duken, Sophia Bush, Bill Bailey, Brooke Shields, Bill Nighy

My Opinion:

I LIKED THIS! There. I said it. Is it good? No. Is it cheesy & predictable? Oh god yes! I don’t care. Screw it. Sometimes it’s nice to just have fun with a movie and not be all judgmental & snobby. I enjoyed this one quite a bit for something that’s not normally very “me”.

I might as well start right away with saying that adorable Felicity Jones is 100% to thank for this movie working & being at all watchable. With another actress, it could have been a disaster. I know she was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for The Theory Of Everything (which I have yet to see) and that she has a lead role in the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (a Star Wars role! Lucky girl!) but this is the only film I’ve seen her in. It was a bit weird watching this knowing that she’s gone on to much bigger & better things but it’s easy to see why as she’s so damn likeable in this & has that special “thing” that only a handful of actors have (I’m so crap with words. The only other way I can think of to describe that “thing” is “the X Factor” but that makes me think of those stupid singing competitions with Simon Cowell. Puke!). Anyway, she definitely has that here and if I hadn’t liked her, I would have been bored with this movie.

As for this movie, I don’t know how to talk about it without making it sound bad. I mean, it’s not a good movie but I really liked it so don’t want to trash it. It’s very odd in that it’s a British film that couldn’t be more “American”. I moaned the other day in my review of A Long Way Down that too many British movies are bland dramedies so now I’ll be praising a British film that doesn’t feel at all British. I feel bad about that! I have to say, though, if it had actually been American, they’d probably have cast some horrible actress in the lead role so it wouldn’t have worked. So…. Um, hooray for British people! πŸ˜‰

I think what worked for me, being a girl who likes strong female movie characters, was the fact that Felicity Jones’ Kim fit the bill. She’s young & she’s a bit unsure of herself after the tragic death of her mother but she’s determined to help her father to pay the bills (which is why she takes a job as a chalet girl in the Alps) and, best of all, she’s a former skateboarding champion. That’s cool! (Not that you ever see her riding a skateboard…). But, inevitably, she takes up snowboarding while in the Alps and it turns out that she has a natural talent for it thanks to her skateboarding years. Shocker, huh?! Oh, and there’s of course a big snowboarding competition coming up with a big cash prize! HUH. What are the odds of that?!?!?! lol

Shit. I’m sounding snobby. Hey, what can I say? This movie is clichΓ© every step of the way. We have the snobby, slutty chalet girl who is pissed off at having to work with “poor girl” Kim, we have the rich boy and a forbidden romance with “poor girl” Kim as well as that boy’s rich-bitch mother who doesn’t approve and, finally, we have the tragic past and a fear that must be overcome in order for Kim to get her life back on track. But, hell – it works. There are just enough laughs and annoyingly “feel good” moments that I found it very hard to not like this movie. I didn’t like the rich boyfriend (soooo not my type but I’m sure some girls will like him). However, some really likeable lesser characters, such as the guy who teaches Kim to snowboard as well as my favorite comedian, Bill Bailey, as her father make up for some of the movie’s mistakes (such as Brooke Shields as the disapproving mother of the rich boy – her character is so damn annoying). The movie has lots of fun moments but doesn’t ever get too silly (although these young kids do know how to party & enjoy a bit of naked hot tub fun…).

Most of all, though, Felicity Jones is just seriously loveable as Kim and you’ll want to see her succeed in every clichΓ©d way possible. Unless you have no soul.

My Rating: 7/10

Would A Manly Man Like This?: Possibly. I think it’s definitely the one that men would find the most bearable of these three.

Austenland (2013)

Directed by Jerusha Hess

Based on Austenland by Shannon Hale

Starring: Keri Russell, JJ Feild, Bret McKenzie, Jennifer Coolidge, James Callis, Jane Seymour, Georgia King

My Opinion:

This movie is weird & utterly ridiculous. Keri Russell plays a lonely American woman obsessed with Jane Austen novels. She saves up her money for “the trip of a lifetime” – a bizarre English retreat run by Jane Seymour where women dress up & partake in Jane Austen-y role play with attractive male actors. Seriously – this movie is bonkers. But, like Chalet Girl, I LIKED THIS ONE TOO!

This has to be the girliest girly movie I’ve watched in years. I should point out that I’ve never read a Jane Austen novel as they just don’t really appeal to me. So, this will have been missing that little extra element of enjoyment for me that I’m sure Austen lovers probably got out of it. I know enough, though, and have watched some period dramas (I actually love the movie Sense & Sensibility) so I was able to enjoy this just fine – I don’t think it’s totally necessary to be an Austen novel reader to like this.

I find Keri Russell to be a pretty likeable actress in what I’ve actually seen her in (she was in one of my absolute favorites of recent years, Waitress, which I plan to praise to high heaven when I do my planned Adrienne Shelly Week at some point). So, I have no complaints there. But, more importantly, my girl Jennifer Coolidge was in this! LOVE her. Yes, she’s once again playing a loveable idiot. Who cares?! It’s funny! I’ll happily watch her play that same idiotic character over & over again. In this, she plays one of the guests at the retreat and, unlike Russell, appears to not have read a Jane Austen novel in her life. She’s just horny & wants some sexy role play with the men. It’s hilarious to see her attempting an English accent and being treated to all the best things at the retreat as she’s paid for the full experience while Russell could only afford the most basic package. A lot of the laughs come from this as Jane Seymour is an evil bitch to poor girl Russell while Coolidge is completely oblivious but totally sweet in her idiocy.

There’s not a lot more that I can really say about this one. It’s the true definition of “chick flick”. I liked that it was quite quirky in its own way, though – the overall concept isn’t really one that we’ve seen in a romcom before. As for the romance, it’s of course there and it’s predictable yet not quite as predictable as some. The movie was a pleasant surprise in that it had more humor than I was expecting and an interesting setup that took some balls to make into a film as this story could have ended up a disaster onscreen (it’s apparently a book but I know nothing about the book). Yes, I said this chick flick has some balls to it! But people with balls would be unlikely to watch this one.

My Rating: 6.5/10

Would A Manly Man Like This?: Oh HELL no! lol. But it’s at least a lot more fun than an actual Jane Austen period drama.

Endless Love (2014)

Directed by Shana Feste

Based on Endless Love by Scott Spencer

Starring: Alex Pettyfer, Gabriella Wilde, Bruce Greenwood, Joely Richardson, Robert Patrick

My Opinion:

I love how Chalet Girl is linked to my two other movies today. A girl in a small role in Chalet Girl was also in Austenland. And… Brooke Shields was in Chalet Girl as well as the superior 1981 adaptation of the Endless Love novel. Oh dear – I just said “superior adaptation” and everyone knows that the 1981 Endless Love is complete & utter shit! Well, so is the 2014 version. But I liked it! Just not an ALL CAPS “I LIKED IT” as with the other two movies I reviewed. Just a lowercase “i liked it” with no formatting.

The two lovers in this 2014 version are so very pretty. So pretty and BORING AS FUCK. Now, I’m of the age where I should love the original Endless Love. However, I was too young for it at first & then didn’t see it until I was well into my twenties so I don’t have the nostalgia thing going on for it. Goddamn it’s bad. It’s seriously shit. But I kind of liked it. I think it’s the law for a girl my age to like the 1981 film. What that film has, at the very least, is passion. The story is a bit pathetic and Shields & whoever the hell the guy was couldn’t act for shit plus the mother of Shields lovingly watches her daughter having sex with the guy (which was beyond weird & creepy) but at least the guy in 1981 had a believable, obsessive passion. The 2014 film has none of that. What’s the point? I don’t know the book so can only compare this to the 1981 film but that film was about an obsession. Alex Pettyfer’s poor boy loving rich girl Gabriella Wilde in 2014 is all well & good but we’ve seen that story a million times. Take out the dangerous obsession & you just end up with two really pretty people who probably have really pretty but really boring sex.

Alex Pettyfer’s poor “bad boy” isn’t a “bad boy” at all. In fact, he’s a sweetheart. He’s in love but not obsessed – he’s not going to go set things on fire or some crazy shit like that. And I praised Gabriella Wilde in that pointless remake of Carrie but, man oh man, her character in this is so DULL. Talk about zero personality! It’s not necessarily her fault – it’s more likely the script. They’re both so sweet & so cute together, though, which makes for a good enough love story. You can’t exactly hate them as they’re SO FUCKING NICE. Too nice. Just…. Ugh! I don’t know. It’s just pointless to call it Endless Love when it’s a completely different film from the other one (other than a tiny bit of tension from “girl’s dad not approving of boy who isn’t good enough for his daughter”). Give me the crazy 1981 obsession, please! Their acting was worse but at least you know they probably had much better sex!

But I still liked this 2014 film in its own right for some reason I seriously can’t explain. Maybe I just like watching really pretty but really dull people making out.

My Rating: 6/10

Would A Manly Man Like This?: Unlikely. But they may find Gabriella Wilde very pretty in a safe & boring kind of way.

Now here’s that sappy piece of shit Lionel Richie & Diana Ross song from the original movie. Complete with clips full of shitty acting from the original movie! God, I really do like that shitty movie…

35 thoughts on “Chalet Girl, Austenland & Endless Love Movie Reviews (A Chick Flick Special)

  1. “safe and boring kind of way” haha. What a funny but probably true description. I’ve seen a lot of Kerri Russell in The Americans. The amount of different wigs she wears! Chalet Girl was described as a snowmantic comedy. Sounds like it did the job. You haven’t seen Gossip Girl? I keep expecting Ed Westwick to be in more films.

  2. This is great, Mutant! I’m not a romcom girl either, but of the three, Austenland sounds like the one I might like most.

    The poster for Chalet Girl just makes me think this might be in the Pretty Woman postcode eg poor girl subservient to rich man wins his love with her simple charms and is thus rescued from her dour life. Even if that’s not what it actually is, I can’t get past that mental image.

    As for Endless Love, I’ve never heard of it, and I don’t really like the sound of it.

  3. “Maybe I just like watching really pretty but really dull people making out.”

    LOL. Thanks for that. I have to watch Endless Love 2014 now. It sounds so good. πŸ˜€

    No, really, I’ve seen the first two, I love Chalet Girl, I only watched it because of Ed Westwick because I totally forgot that Felicity Jones is in it. Yeah, I’m one of those girls who are taken by Westwick, he’s hot (although he’s hotter in Gossip Girl, it’s his best role by far). Felicity Jones is actually good in everything she does, I guess. I’ve seen quite many of her films, to me Like Crazy is still the best but she’s even good in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 which is otherwise quite a crap of a film. And Austenland was just blah. So if you liked that one and even liked the last one, I should probably check it out then. πŸ™‚

    • Lol. You’re welcome! Didn’t expect to talk anyone into watching Endless Love based on this “review”. πŸ˜‰ lol. Yeah – I didn’t know Jones was in Like Crazy until I looked her up for this review. I like Anton Yelchin so I should check that one out too! πŸ™‚

  4. I would honestly dock Endless love a lot more points for boring sex. Isn’t one of the biggest motivators for people seeing these movies is for seeing sex scenes on a huge screen? πŸ˜‰

    These movies make me want to go listen to some country music and grow a really nasty mustache because I would feel so much bitterness b/c of all these perfect people. #poop


    • This is true… I now declare Endless Love to be docked half a point for boring sex! πŸ˜‰ HA! I’d love to see you with a country dude mustache. That would be funny! Not sure about #poopsex , though. Your hashtags are starting to worry me. Lol!

      • Radio Shack is going down in flames here, I think it went bankrupt this year. Sad times. Especially when you consider how frequent a shopper I was there. Last time I was in a RS i thnk was like 8 years ago lol

  5. I actually really liked Chalet Girl too despite all its flaws and I kind of want to see Austenland now. I think Endless Love is going to be a skipper because Alex Pettyfer gives me the heeb. My friend (who is also South African) and I used to constantly joke that he looked too much like the guys we grew up with to be taken seriously as a sex symbol. Probably something that will make sense only to Zoe.

    • Yeah, Chalet Girl isn’t the type of thing I normally like but it was fun. πŸ™‚ Austenland is quite wacky – might be worth a watch sometime! As for Alex Pettyfer, he really doesn’t do it for me. He’s odd looking… He looks okay at times but he has the WORST haircut in Endless Love, which didn’t help. God, that movie really is quite shit anyway. πŸ˜‰

  6. I’m a big Jane Austen fan and I really loved “Austenland.” I’m probably a little more obsessed than I should be with this movie. πŸ˜‰ I mention it to anyone I can, since not as many people have heard of it. It’s very over the top but funny.

    • That’s cool – I was wondering what an actual Jane Austen fan would think of the movie. πŸ™‚ I thought it was a pleasant surprise! Much more humor than I was expecting. I liked that it was quite wacky! πŸ™‚

  7. I really like Felicity Jones, for all kinds of reasons, but Chalet Girl just looks too… cliched, I guess. I think I might hate it. But then I watched both St. Trinian’s movies and kind of enjoyed them, so a) what do I know, and b) I should get off my high horse.

    Austenland, on the other hand, I kinda really want to see. It sounds kinda bonkers, which I like, and I’ve seen at least one adaptation of every Jane Austen novel, so hopefully I’d ‘get’ it. And I like Keri Russell for all kinds of reasons too (Yay Waitress! Yay The Americans!), so, bonus.

    • Lol! Yeah, don’t judge – I’m pretty sure I’d hate the St. Trinian’s movies. Ha! πŸ˜‰ I have to say all the posters for Chalet Girl are awful. But, yes, it’s horribly clichΓ©. Jones is just so likeable. πŸ™‚ Austenland IS a lot more bonkers than I was expecting! Think I expected pure romance. I far prefer bonkers. πŸ˜‰

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