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< Entertainment >

New Movie Reviews

"Ice Princess"

by Michael Handorf
Handorf@comcast.net

Michelle Trachtenberg. Joan Cusak. Comedy.

Synopsis: A high school student who demonstrates aptitude in math and sciences opts to spend more time figure skating than her mother would prefer.

Review: If you’re a mother of girls or a young girl, this is about as clean and wholesome a movie about establishing your own boundaries as you can hope for - give it a strong A-. For the rest of us, it’s a C+.

Casey is trying to obtain a physics scholarship to Harvard. In order to do so, she decides to initiate a project to identify the formulas that would allow local skaters to improve their skating. She intends to do so by applying calculations concerning velocity and force to the skaters’ movements.

It works out well, until she realizes that her findings won’t be too meaningful until she can apply the formulas to herself, an amateur skater at best. In doing so, she catches the eye of the local ice rink’s owner, Tina (Kim Cattrall), a former professional skater.

At this point, the writers have adopted the standard sports movie/underdog framework - underdog is challenged, underdog almost rises to the challenge, etc. You’ve seen this all before.

But they’ve also added in the battle for the young girl’s heart and mind between her feminist mother (Joan Cusak) and Tina. Casey’s mother despises the costumes of figure skaters and decries the ‘shelf life’ of a professional skater. Tina identifies that Casey can never compete at a professional level, because she isn’t driven.

Of course, we’ve seen this a dozen times before as well, but usually from the standpoint of a young man being torn between two competing patriarchs (most effectively done by Oliver Stone in both Platoon and Wall Street, but this is a G-rated Disney film).

It’s entertaining and fun. Take a few parts of Bend it Like Beckham and mix it with the stepmother elements of Cinderella, and you’ve got a fine Disney film.
My only complaint is that I’m not sure that too many 16 and 17-year olds are telling their mothers, “I’m not giving up my dream - I’m giving up yours.”

Had I done so, I might be slaving away in a rock band in LA playing heavy metal, a form of music that Rolling Stone has recently labeled “an extinct musical genre.” Talk about limited shelf life.
Guess I’m just lucky…

OVERALL GRADE: C+

 

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