"Downhill, Very Quickly"
What You Need To Know:
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.
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.