Australian Council on Children and the Media

Chalet Girl

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Not recommended under 13, PG 13 to 15 (Sexual references; Coarse language; Substance use)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Chalet Girl
  • a review of Chalet Girl completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 5 September 2011.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not recommended due to sexual references, coarse language and substance use
Children aged 13 - 15 Parental guidance recommended due to sexual references, coarse language and substance use

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Chalet Girl
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild sexual references and coarse language
Length 97 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Kim Matthews (Felicity Jones) had just won a huge skateboarding competition when a tragic accident led to the death of her mother. Since that tragedy, she has never skateboarded again. Two years on, Kim is working in a fast food outlet, caring for her helpless father (Bill Bayley). Upon hearing of a better paying job, she finds herself on her way to Austria to work as a ‘Chalet Girl’; keeping house for the Madsen family in their ski chalet.

Kim now has to cope with being away from her father as well as attempting to fit in to what is a totally different way of life. Jonny Madsen (Ed Wetswick), the son of Dickie (Bill Nighy) and Caroline (Brooke Shields) helps to accustom Kim to the ways of the wealthy, including drinking £500 bottles of champagne and helicopter trips to the top of the mountain.

In her downtime, Kim tries snowboarding. Crazy Finn, Mikki (Ken Duken) helps her learn the basics and to their surprise, shows that she is a natural! Mikki encourages her to aim to participate in an upcoming snowboarding competition to win $25,000. Kim trains hard but struggles to overcome the flashbacks of the car accident that killed her mother, when she attempts jumps.

Meanwhile Kim’s unlikely relationship with Jonny develops as they share time out on the slopes, much to the disapproval of his new fiancée (Sophia Bush) and mother. Meanwhile Kim’s unlikely relationship with Jonny develops as they share time out on the slopes, much to the disapproval of his new fiancée (Sophia Bush) and mother.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Death of a parent, wealth, social class

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • Kim is repeatedly knocked over by other skiers on the mountain
  • Kim is hit in the nose by a champagne cork. We see her later dabbing her bleeding nose
  • Kim has flashbacks of the car accident which killed her mother. This involves the car skidding and falling over a bridge
  • After breaking off their engagement, Jonny’s ex fiancé hits him in the groin with her crutch.
  • Verbal abuse between some characters, usually in the form of sarcasm.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of eight, including the following:

  • A snowboarder competitor requires painkillers in order to compete and we see her self-injecting on a number of occasions.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above mentioned scenes.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Red Bull
  • Snickers
  • Quicksilver
  • Roxy
  • Tesco
  • Apple
  • BMW
  • Adidas

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • An older man taps a younger girl on the bottom. She responds by pouring hot coffee on him
  • Characters talk about having ‘sex in the gondola’ and it ‘lasting 90 seconds’
  • Bar staff are shown in low cut tops, revealing cleavage
  • Businessmen attempt to guess Kim’s bra size
  • Kim and the other chalet girl talk about ‘putting up with crude, sexual comments from businessmen’ because they are big tippers

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • kissing between couples
  • A man wears a pair of brief speedos
  • During a party at the chalet, men and women are seen naked (backs, bottoms are shown) frolicking in the snow and in the hot tub.
  • Kim is shown standing naked in front of Madsen’s car, outside in the snow.
  • Kim and Jonny kiss and play fight in the snow. They take off their clothes and are then shown lying in the bed.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Frequent scenes showing drinking at dinner, parties and in bars
  • Kim and her friends are shown drinking ‘shots’. We then see Kim drunk, naked in a spa bath and climbing out into the snow.
  • Kim nurses a beer stating she prefers that rather than talking to someone about her problems
  • A snowboard competitor is seen injecting herself with pain killers.

Coarse language

There are some coarse language and insults in this movie, including:

  • cock
  • tits
  • shit
  • arse
  • freak
  • cock slapper
  • crap
  • crazy freak
  • piss off
  • slut
  • lying bastard

In a nutshell

Chalet Girl is a fun story for older adolescents showcasing some amazing snowboarding and Austrian scenery. Parents should be aware that the sexual references, coarse language and alcohol abuse make it unsuitable for children and younger teens.

The main messages from this movie are:

Overcoming tragedy – Kim and her father have just “existed” since the death of their mother and father. Kim has avoided doing the one thing that she loved – skateboarding. Taking the job in Austria, she was able to find something that she equally loved and by admitting to her grief, was able to excel and achieve to the best she could.

Money doesn’t make a perfect life – Despite having riches and experiences of which most people can only dream, Jonny is not happy. The expectation that he will marry an ‘appropriate person’ and take over the family business meant that he has had to forgo his passion, music, and potentially, true love.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • strength
  • bravery
  • equality
  • friendship – even in unlikely circumstances

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of

  • accepting people for who they are
  • following true love
  • getting professional help for grief and depression

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