|Starring||Felicity Jones, Ed Westwick, Tamsin Egerton, Bill Bailey, Bill Nighy|
|Release||16 MARCH (UK) Certificate 12A|
But, somehow, the film's terrible story-by-numbers means that the overall plot (for which we all obviously know the ending) automatically takes a back seat and allows everyone on screen some space to just be affable and funny. Felicity Jones holds the film together as the young leading lady Kim and, as far as dynamic, independent teen girls go, she's among the spunkiest, with Jones showing off great comic-timing as well as enough acting flair to carry the weightier moments - as displayed in one surprisingly heartbreaking scene in which Kim finally opens up about her mum's death.
Playing her hunky love interest is the teen-audience-baiting Ed Westwick, star of the I-only-watch-it-because-my-girlfriend-is-obsessed-with-it US teen drama Gossip Girl. Westwick isn't given much to work with other than to look handsome and occasionally engage enigmatically with Kim, but his undeniable charisma makes a thankless role more memorable than it deserves to be.
Bringing up the rear, however, and showing how a good supporting cast can save a movie from utter banality, are the wonderful Tamsin Egerton as Kim's stuck-up slutty roommate, the dependable Bill Bailey, as Kim's supportive but incompetent dad who slowly learns to take care of himself and, unsurprisingly stealing every scene, the magnetic Bill Nighy who, as Jonny's super-rich dad, teases and lends support in equal measure. In fact, come the film's frenzied climax (will she win the tournament? Will she get the guy? Will she be accepted by her peers?), it's hard not to say that Bill Nighy saves the day all by himself just by being so…cool.
By the time the credits roll, following an hour and a half of impressive snow skills and some quite stunning scenic shots, all the actors are shown singing along to a final soundtrack song at various stages of the film's production and it's hard not to instantly forgive all the script's occasional faults and just be swept up in the feel-good nature of such a charming, easily-likable release. And when those cringeworthy T4 presenters show up again at the end to round the film out, this time it actually seems kinda fun.
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