Barely escaping an avalanche during a family ski vacation in the Alps, a married couple is thrown into disarray as they are forced to reevaluate their lives and how they feel about each other.
Aah, vacation. A time to get away and reconnect with your loved ones. But for Pete, reconnecting may be more difficult than he anticipated.
After a beautiful day on the slopes, Pete and Billie and their two boys are catching a break while they decide on what’s for lunch. While waiting for the server to take their orders, a loud bang on the mountain is followed by a terrifying avalanche that nearly buries their family and other diners. When the snow settles and Billie and her boys see that they’re okay, Billie sees Pete walking back outside and realizes that he ran away from his family in a moment when they needed him most.
As their vacation continues to unravel, the tension between Pete and Billie grows. Pete isn’t willing to recognize the danger that his wife and boys overcame, while Billie feels betrayed and abandoned by the cowardice of her husband.
Both Pete and Billie spend some time independent of the family in hopes to gain insight on how to move past this traumatic experience. Billie is given an impromptu ski lesson by a handsome and seductive resort instructor. Pete has some guy time on the slopes with a coworker who happens to be passing through the Alps with his girlfriend, and nearly ends up instigating a drunken bar brawl before being whisked out of the club by his friend.
At dinner, the family is reunited, and the air is thick with frustration and uncertainty. Finally, while walking back to their hotel room, Pete admits that he was a coward and that he feels horribly about the way he left his family to be assaulted by the frightful avalanche. Billie is less than receptive as she feels as though he owed her that acknowledgement the day the event happened.
The film concludes with Billie feigning distress on the mountain as she calls for Pete to save her. He heeds her call, and she reminds him that she is doing it for him to reestablish who he is and wants to be for his wife and boys. She admonishes him that if he doesn’t use this moment as the first step back to becoming the man he truly wants to be, then the only person he’ll be able to blame is himself.
Because of heavy language and even heavier sexual content, this film is not Dove-approved.
The Dove Take:
Downhill is an uncomfortable film that reveals the challenges of marriage and what happens when partners have failed to be intentional about keeping their love and commitment alive– but heavy language and even heavier sexual content aren’t appropriate for most audiences.