I’m not sure where to begin when contemplating all of the things that are wrong with Downhill, the latest comedy from filmmakers Nat Faxon and Jim Rash. I’ll start with how sad it is that the talents of the film’s star, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, are so underutilized. Considering the fact that she makes so few theatrical films you can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness that a film project that was deemed important enough for her participation would fall as flat as this one. And, yet it does in spite of her best efforts. I’m not sure where or how it all went wrong but let’s just say Downhill is an apt title for this one.
Dreyfus and co-star Will Ferrell star as Billie and Pete, a married couple on vacation in the Swiss Alps with their kids in tow. When it appears that an avalanche is fast approaching Pete seemingly heads for the hills eventually returning when a near disaster is averted. This leads Billie to later question the foundations of their marriage. The rest of the film basically consists of the couple bickering and treating themselves to mild diversions along the way when each of them decides to have some alone time.
Downhill is a remake of a superior French film entitled Force Majeure from several years back. The difference is that the earlier film played the material straight whereas Downhill attempts to turn it into a comedy of some sort, albeit not a very funny one. Faxon and Rash penned the excellent script for The Descendants back in 2011. This one is a pale reminder of that past triumph. My advice is to see the original and skip this one. It’s a downhill slide.
Downhill is playing everywhere.
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