If you’re looking for a romantic comedy starring two popular stars to make you feel all warm inside this Valentine’s Day weekend, Downhill is NOT it.
If you’re looking for a disappointing movie that will make you feel uncomfortable, maybe then Downhill IS for you.
One might think that married couple Pete (Will Ferrell) and Billie (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) would have some madcap adventures on the ski runs that would result in loads of laughs. One would be wrong. Downhill is a “drama/comedy” with the emphasis on family drama.
On a positive note, the scenery in Downhill is gorgeous. The Alpine slopes glisten in the Austrian sun. The action shots make skiing look like more fun than it really is.
Another positive note: the film is mercifully short, clocking in at a mere 85 minutes.
Pete and Billie and their two young sons head to Europe ostensibly to ease the pain brought on by Pete’s dad’s recent passing. But when a “controlled” avalanche goes out of control, it becomes apparent that Pete and Billie have other issues beside Pete’s ongoing grief.
Some of the side characters add a bit of spice to the show. The horny hotel manager Charlotte (Miranda Otto) is fun but also a bit off-putting. The cocky ski patrol leader (Kristofer Hivju) throws more cold water on the anticipated good times. Billie’s ski instructor Guglielmo (Giulio Berruti) has some success trying to perk up her spirits.
Pete’s co-worker Zach (Zach Woods) and his girlfriend Rosie (Zoe Chao) are unwitting witnesses to Pete and Billie’s big blow up—not much fun there.
Downhill was inspired by a 2014 French film Force Majeure, which has a similar plot. Force Majeure‘s IMDB rating is 7.3.
Downhill has an IMDB rating of 4.0. Downhill is the kind of movie you might watch a year or two from now on cable or Netflix when there’s nothing else on. Rated R.