DOWNHILL is a poorly executed comical drama about a husband and wife, Billie and Peter, who undergo marital trouble while on an Alpine ski vacation with their children. DOWNHILL focuses on the dynamic between Billie and Pete, their children, and their personal feelings of frustration and fear about their marital problems and the future of their marriage. An incident causes Billie to doubt Pete’s love and commitment. To make matters more irksome, Pete’s work buddy and his girlfriend try to offer comfort but only stress everyone out more.
Theoretically, the movie’s basic story is intriguing, but DOWNHILL lacks a good script. The acting and cinematography are strong, but many scenes are awkward and unnecessary. Also, the movie can’t make up its mind whether it’s a comedy or a drama. The movie promotes a predominantly humanist worldview, mixed with some pagan and moral elements. Billie and Peter strive to make their marriage work and care for their children, but this is the movie’s only redeeming part. DOWNHILL also contains some strong foul language and lewd content, which will annoy media-wise moviegoers.
(HH, Ab, Pa, C, B, LL, V, SS, AA, DD, M):
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong humanist worldview includes one character refers to science as they reason he and his partner will either one day have or not have children, character claims that living for oneself is fulfilling and doesn’t take responsibility for anything other than wanting to travel the world, a character asserts that God in the heavens is a legend so one can throw out morals in favor of a life of their own desires and whims, and lewd sexual conversations support cheating on one’s spouse and sexual experimentation, but husband and a wife eventually come together despite arguments for the good of their family
10 obscenities (including seven “f” words) and 12 light profanities
Man falls while skiing and hits his head, drunken character tries to get into a fight but ends up walking away with just a few bruises, and one character talks about kicking someone in their private parts
Strong sexual content includes female character who insists it’s okay to sleep around even if one is married, implied sex, character encourages couple to celebrate their bodies naked, a conversation about self-pleasure, wife kisses someone who isn’t her husband then stops only to go pleasure herself before she gets interrupted, comment about being sore from sex, multiple sexual innuendos, female makes a gesture mimicking a type of sex
Characters drink wine in social occasions, one scene where a male character gets drunk, character puts alcohol in coffee, characters drink shots in a club
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Character reminisces about trying hallucinogenic mushrooms while on vacation; and,
Lying and cheating.
DOWNHILL is a poorly executed comedy/drama movie about a couple, Billie and Peter, who undergo marriage trouble while on a family ski vacation in the Alps. In theory, the premise of the movie is intriguing, but sadly, DOWNHILL lacks a good script. The movie follows a predominantly humanist worldview and with a slight moral elements as Billie and Peter strive to make their marriage work and care for their children. One female character exemplifies a pagan elements mainly due to her sexual promiscuity and encourages Billie to stray from her husband, just like she strays from hers.
DOWNHILL begins as Pete and Billie and their two children arrive at their resort in the Alps for a vacation. The four get settled and take on the ski slopes until at lunch, an avalanche rolls down the mountains and interrupts everyone eating on the deck of the restaurant. During this intense moment, Pete leaves the table, and Billie holds her sons tight. She’s not quite sure what to make of Pete’s behavior when he comes back to the table and acts as if nothing happened. There’s awkward tension between Billie and Pete now.
Pete invites his work pal Zack and Zack’s girlfriend over for dinner, even though Billie said no to the idea. While chatting, the avalanche comes up, and Pete refuses to fess up to leaving Billie. The following days, Pete and Billie find separate activities to do on vacation. Billie goes on a private ski lesson while Pete takes the boys to a fun child-friendly alpine slide.
The unspoken words between Pete and Billie come to a head one evening where Pete confesses he was wrong to leave Billie and the boys. Up until this point, Billie was relatively gracious to Pete, who’s mourning the loss of his father, but she stands firm and reminds Pete that he failed to be with his family just when they needed him most.
DOWNHILL has some scenic drone and wide shots that showcase the freshness of the Alpine snow. Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell make a great pair in the movie as Billie and Pete, and the casting of their family is convincing. However, the writing of DOWNHILL struggles to make up its mind on genre. Is it a comedy or a drama? The world may never know. Also, many scenes are awkward and unnecessary, failing to move the story along properly.
DOWNHILL promotes a predominantly humanist worldview. The characters stress human desires and science over God. One character even says that God is a legend in the heavens. Oddly, there’s a slight moral element as Billie and Peter strive to make their marriage work and care for their children, which is arguably the movie’s only redeeming part. Also, one female character exemplifies a pagan worldview mainly due to her sexual promiscuity. She actually encourages Billie to stray from her husband, just like she strays from hers. Finally, DOWNHILL has some strong foul language and strong lewd content. For all these reasons, MOVIEGUIDE® finds DOWNHILL excessive.
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