Vacations are hard, 3.5 readers.
BQB here with a review of the dramedy, “Downhill.”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell play Billie and Pete, a couple who go on a luxurious European ski vacation.
Long story short, there’s an avalanche. It’s scary as F, and Pete loses his husband/father of the year award big time when he books it, leaving his wife and kids in the dust.
Turns out no one was ever in any real danger. The avalanche was a controlled burst meant to shake some snow off the mountain and while it looks scary to tourists, they were never in any real danger other than getting snow all over themselves.
But Pete didn’t know that at the time, right?
Without delving into spoiler territory, the rest of the film is a slow meditation on love, marriage, human frailty, fragility, aging and the overall notion of whether or not there can ever be a perfect person. Could Pete have helped it? Perhaps he moved based on pure instinct. Or maybe he was just a wuss. We may never know.
STATUS: While it’s worth watching and it is nice to see Julia in a feature length film, I’d save this one for a rental. The setup is great but the rest of the film is a slow burn, and although various questions posed are eventually answered, this one feels less like a movie and more like an extended sitcom episode. I feel like if they’d handed this script to Larry David, we would have had a better time watching that old curmudgeon high tail it from snowed upon family.