You would think that sticking two modern comedy superstars like Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell together on a ski resort would be a failure free formula for entertainment, but “Downhill” doesn’t use these two greats properly leading to a very mediocre time at the movies.
The couple plays Billie and Pete, heads of a family out of sync, escaping to the Alps for a luxurious ski vacation. When Pete bails on his wife and kids when a menacing avalanche turns out to be nothing more than an engineering exercise, Billie begins to question her husband’s commitment to the family and the comedy ensues between two of the best awkward movement actors in the business.
At least that’s the way it’s suppose to work.
Instead, Directors Nat Fixon and Jim Rash, decide to keep their two stars apart for a large part of the film, and the uncomfortable energy that is terrific when they’re together is split up, with each taking half of the laughs with them. Instead, we get cartoonish side characters and unfunny detours from the main conflict of the entire film and that’s why “Downhill” is only average when it could be really good.
Louis-Dreyfus and Ferrell are great when they do share the screen and the film is shot well with some picturesque slopes making for a playground full of potential for the right story. It’s a soft “R” with a run time that’s less than an hour an a half.
The problem is that “Downhill” doesn’t maximize it’s potential. This is a decent rental, nothing more.
Run time: 1 hour 25 minutes