From the opening Hello Muddah voiceover narration lines of the piffle-stuft trailer for Chalet Girl, which with a single stone kills the dual birds of explaining the plot and setting up a rapid-fire series of dumb jokes, it's clear that this will be no ordinary romantic comedy. No, friends, this is indieland, and what we have here is a "quirky" romantic comedy -- which basically means it's Juno except for it's in a different setting, probably nobody gets pregnant and it lacks the deadpan wit of Diablo Cody's dialogue. So make that Juno except for all the annoying qualities of Juno and none of the redeeming ones.
It is, however, just in time for ski season.
Like the photo on the old MySpace profile you once used to troll for web-slatterns, the first joke in the trailer for a comedy should probably be one of its best -- you want to hook 'em early. In that respect, Chalet Girl is not promising: Are we really crafting a joke on the assumption that, compared to a series of four-syllable names, a one-syllable name will be funny? Because that is not funny, dudes. It just isn't at all. And it really doesn't get much better from there. Skiing slapstick, champagne-bottle slapstick, man-kini slapstick, hot-liquid slapstick...you know, the usual.
But every romantic comedy should also have its share of drama, and once again, what Chalet Girl delivers is pretty piss-poor: a blossoming relationship whose one obstacle is class difference, because suddenly we've been transported back to the eighteenth century when a girl's social standing was more important than whether she was hot or not (all right, that's two obstacles if you count employment policies, but they're basically the same thing). In short, Chalet Girl appears to be utterly half-assed in every way.
If there's a lesson we can draw from this, it's that the common assumption about indie films being smart and funny is wrong, because this is neither (English accents notwithstanding). And if you thought indie flicks were supposed to be kind of deep, you're wrong there, also: Chalet Girl is about as substantial as the bubblegum from which it draws its palette. So thanks for that, too, Juno.
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