In their new movie “Downhill,” Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell are a married couple with two kids on a pleasant, if awkward ski vacation in the Alps. But when an avalanche almost derails their trip, things start to go … well, downhill in their relationship.
“Downhill” is a dramedy that’s an American remake of the Swedish black comedy “Force Majeure.” Both films follow the family to the Alps until suddenly their vacation is interrupted by a controlled avalanche that at first appears to be hurtling toward them. In the panic, Ferrell’s character appears to grab his phone, run away from the table and leave his wife and kids behind. The incident sends a rift through their family that forces them to reevaluate their lives together.
“I didn’t leave you to be buried. I ran to get help,” Ferrell’s character says. “That’s not what happened.”
Much of the fun and cringe-worthiness of director and writer Ruben Ostlund’s “Force Majeure” is deciphering just what happened in that heat of the moment and how both husband and wife interpret the situation, and “Downhill” seems to mirror that film closely. Nat Faxon and Jim Rash of “The Way, Way Back” and “The Descendants” directed the film and co-wrote the screenplay with Jesse Armstrong.
“Downhill” will make its premiere next month at the Sundance Film Festival, and Fox Searchlight will then release it in theaters on Feb. 14, 2020, a.k.a. Valentine’s Day.
Watch the first trailer for “Downhill” above.