Freeze Frame: “Downhill” (R), “The Photograph” (PG-13)

“Downhill” is an American remake of “Force Majeure,” a critically acclaimed Swedish film from 2014. Will Farrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus star in the story of a family on a ski vacation in the Alps. Their marriage is strained to the breaking point when Ferrell’s character engages in an act of cowardice during an avalanche. There are few laughs in this version that seems a bit watered down from the original. Louis-Dreyfus gives a strong, believable performance, though. However, her efforts can’t keep this 85-minute movie from seeming longer than it is. “Downhill” is not a bad film by any means but just doesn’t live up to its potential. It’s a bunny slope version of “Force Majeure.”


Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’re offered the romantic drama, “The Photograph.” Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield star in the story of a romance sparked by a photo that sends a woman on a quest of discovery. Rae plays a museum curator whose path crosses with journalist Stanfield when she seeks answers about her mother’s life. Do these actors have chemistry? You bet. This romance is grounded in reality and manages to avoid many of the pitfalls that commonly haunt romantic dramas. The only drawback is the movie’s extremely slow pace. But the cast is appealing and Robert Glasper’s effective jazz score fits like a glove.


Also opening this week, “Fantasy Island” is a reboot of the old Ricardo Montalban TV series where people’s dreams come true, only this time, it’s a horror movie. Jim Carrey and James Marsden star in “Sonic the Hedgehog,” an action comedy based on the infamous Sega video game. Zooey Deutch stars in “Buffaloed,” an unrated indie comedy about a debt collector. “Come as You Are” is about three young men who travel to a brothel for people with special needs.

Share This Episode