Friday, February 14, 2020

It’s All Downhill From Here

It's surprising to me that a film co-written and co-directed by Jim Rash could turn out to be such a joyless exercise in futility. Along with Nat Faxon, Rash attempts to remake the Swedish dramedy Force Majeure for American audiences. Something obviously got lost in the translation.

Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus star as Pete and Billie, a married spending a ski vacation in the Alps with their two sons. The family witnesses a controlled avalanche that terrifies them, but actually never put the members of the family in any real danger. Pete running away to save himself creates tension among the group, especially when he fails to acknowledge or apologize for his actions.

While offering a couple of chuckles, Downhill is drudge with dramatic sequences that, like its humor, are consistently wide of the mark. Billie and Pete are a couple I wouldn't want to spend five minutes with, let alone stick around for the film's full running time. Pete is a cliched sitcom dad and Billie is only marginally better written. Honestly, I was rooting for the avalanche.

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