Ice Princess was typical family fluff that was an enjoyable hour and 1/2 escape from the tensions of real life. With that in mind, it was a great success as entertainment and release from stress.The plot is simple and "age worn" - a teen named Casey (Michelle Trachtenberg) is torn between fulfilling the dreams of her parent or following her own dreams. Nothing new here. Yet, the supporting characters of Gen Harwood (Hayden Panettiere) and her mother Tina (Kim Cattrall) also have the same situation. Tina, a skating coach, wants her daughter to become a skating champion, an achievement Tina was unable to fulfill in her own skating career. Thus, both Gen and Casey have something in common: pleasing mom or pleasing themselves.Yet, Gen and Casey were dramatically different. Casey was a brilliant student with her eyes on Harvard while being gifted at skating, too. Meanwhile, Gen excelled only by becoming a slave to skating and sacrificing her schoolwork.And it is with that difference that I believe Disney missed the potential. The "Casey's" of the world are few and far between, and it is difficult to relate to them: "Oh, gee. Will I go to Harvard because I'm brilliant at school? Or will I become a skating champion because I'm brilliant on the ice?" Because she is so distant from the vast majority of people, she never truly grabbed my empathy.Gen, on the other hand, is very, very real. She is being pushed into a sport by a parent, and her social life and academics are suffering. She faces a real dilemma. Plus, she has no hope of excelling at either academics or skating. Her social life is her only escape from this vise. And Gen is endearing because she seems to have a "good heart" despite the difficulty. And how often we see kids with "good hearts" trapped by situations.I believe that most of us can relate much better to Gen than to Casey. I would have preferred the character of Gen to be the focus of the story with Casey's character in the supporting role. It would be tougher, grittier, and more meaningful to the audience.Yeah, we all cheered for Casey, but I was cheering for Gen even more.
ICE PRINCESS is not the kind of movie to which this reviewer is usually attracted - the trappings indicate that we are in for a happy-wappy, sterilized, PG, Disney candy box. But, surprise!, here is a film that is better than its package. Writers Meg Cabot and Hadley Davis have combined the sport of ice skating with the drama of teenage angst and come up with a credible tale of a 'science geek' discovering her talent and following her dream of figure skating.Director Tim Fywell knows his way around the ice rink and the halls and lockers of high school kids and his preparation for the film is apparent. Casey (Michelle Trachtenberg) is a fine student who is encouraged by her physics professor to find a project that incorporates her personality along with physics that will assist her in gaining a scholarship to Harvard. Casey's mother (Joan Cusack) is a pragmatist, a schoolteacher who wants Casey to succeed beyond the mother's status. Casey loves to skate on their home pond, but one day happens into a private skating rink class owned by one-time star skater Tina (Kim Cattrall), a place where Tina relentlessly drives her daughter Gen (Hayden Panettiere) toward winning prizes. Tina's son Teddy (Trevor Blumas - a much underused handsome actor) is always around to keep the ice surfaces smooth with his machine.Casey observes the brilliance of fine skating, thinks of a way to analyze moves on her computer that will diagnose aerodynamic physics aspects of skating, and once that is perfected, and she is able to aid the skaters with her scientific knowledge, she personalizes her theories. Before long has won a place along with the other aspiring skaters. She encounters resistance from her mother, encouragement from Tina, and friendship from Gen and her fellow skaters as well as the eye of Teddy! When Casey has her Harvard interview, she admits that her real love is for skating, not physics, and commits to pursuing that love full time. The rest is predictable: all's well that end's well.What sets this little film apart is the quality of acting from Trachtenberg, Cattrall, Cusack and Blumas: they create characters about whom we care. The skating is fun to watch, and the 'sitting in the bleachers rooting for the good guys' feeling is refreshing. This is not a great film but certainly one of the best of this genre. It is most definitely a 'feel good' popcorn movie! Grady Harp
This movie was typical Disney; a sweet feel-good story despite some mediocre acting and plot holes. Michelle Trachtenberg is a very likable heroine, and both Joan Cusack and Kim Cattrall perform admirably in their respective roles. Granted, the "child breaks away from parent's desires to follow her own dream" story has been done many times, and this version is nothing special, but it's good for us well-intentioned mothers to be reminded every so often to let our children find their own paths in life.My only big gripe is with what is presented as Casey's incredible physics discoveries. Some of the statements are downright wrong (pulling in your arms while spinning DECREASES, not increases, your moment of inertia), and all the equations shown in the movie are nothing but basic laws of Newtonian mechanics. While the target pre-teen audience will be fooled, anyone older who's ever taken a physics class will not. Come on, Hollywood...with all the recent publicity about whether women are suited for math and science, please don't insult our intelligence by assuming that scientific details are unimportant in a movie marketed to young girls.
This 'chase your dream/against all odds' fantasy is a light diversion in a Hollywood culture steeped in blockbuster mode. Ice Princess attempts to treat the issue of female achievement with both charm and weightiness. One is almost tempted (I say almost tempted because it still falls under the very successful Disney Channel formula of a challenged teenage life and happy ending) to forgive the every ready show of single motherhood as fanatical stage moms driving their kids to the fulfillment of their dreams rather than encouraging the same to seek happiness and true fulfillment.Both Kim Cattral and Joan Cusak play mothers who pressure their daughters into career they seemed all too disappointed about not having achieved. Their daughters, in effect, are stand-ins of their own unfulfilled dreams. Casey, the true focus of the movie is played by Michelle Trachtenberg, as a Harvard-bound physics nerd who aspires to challenge all the planning and hard work to become a world class figure skater. Conversely Gen, played by Hayden Panettiere, is the Cattral prodigy who is forced into the role of apprentice skating champ - chasing her mother's Olympic dreams - the dreams lost when she lost (disqualified, as the story goes) in Sarajevo - and just wants to be normal. True to the Hollywood/Disney formula there is the perfunctory supportive and accessible 'hunk' (who just happens to be Gen's bother) in Trevor Blumas. Directed by Tim Fywell and written by Hadley Davis, Ice Princess is a story pegged on the duality of very pushy mothers in Cusak and Cattral whose daughters are being pushed in the direction that runs counter to their dreams.Despite the movie's predictability, the Ice Princess had moments of seriousness (almost lapses, actually) in the core subject matter of passionate loyalties amidst the cutthroat competitiveness of the figure-skating world. Yes, you will be treated to the attractive figure skating but Fywell is not tempted to push it over the top. Cusack and Cattrall bring a mature complexity to their difficult roles as mothers who are trying to control the raging hormones and resultant attitude. Problematic in some areas, the movie does bring to presence the very important issues of coming of age, parental interference, and long term career planning. Unrealistic at best, to think that after all that was invested, a Harvard bound student (not to mention the Olympic bound skater) would throw it all away on a one-in-a-million chance at 'true happiness' but we can always live vicariously in this imaginary space - which is why we will continue to be attracted to movies like Ice Princess.Miguel Llora
I saw this and was like wow. I really didn't want to see it, honestly. I thought it looked like one of those cheesy Disney movies, but I was extremely wrong. It was a great movie for kids & parents alike, and definitely a mother and daughter movie. I thought it was perfect, and it was so cute, I came out of there wishing I was an ice skater its just one of the movies, that make you think to yourself, "Wow, I wish I could do that." A lot of my friends thought this movie was a little weird but me and my friends were siting there crying after this movie. It was adorable in every way, and I don't think it possibly could be better, the only complaint I actually do have is the ending kiss between her and the boy, it wasn't romantic at all, if that was a little more romantic I thought that would be perfect.;] Thanks for reading, Krista
I loved this movie, and I don't know why the other reviewer did not. Maybe said reviewer was not accustomed to viewing Disney movies, which are generally cleaner and more family-oriented. The star of the film worked her hardest against all obstacles to accomplish her goals and realize her dreams, without throwing away her intelligence. She learned that intelligence is not a burden, as it is often portrayed, but a gift that can possibly be applied to many other areas of life. The main character was a well-developed character, as were the supporting characters, and the soundtrack was excellent. I truly enjoyed this movie, and it was a joy to watch. I shall hope to see it again before it is released on DVD.
Besides what the cynics will see Ice Princess is an undeniable bubblegum treat and despite it's sometimes lapse in logic makes an agreeable sports film both emotional and intense. Trachtenberg of Buffy fame stars as the title star a physics geek in school whom when offered the opportunity to go to college with a scholarship, decides to base her summer project on figure skating and the physics proportions of what would accustom special movements and such. In that she finds a passion she's long denied herself because of her over bearing, feminist, college professor MOM played wonderfully by Joan Cusack whom of course thinks it's just a waste of time. The film is of course a clash of overly obvious clichés but anyone seeing this film should know that already. But these are the clichés that make movies like this truly inspiring and enjoyable. The film is fun, memorable and heart tugging. But the standout addition here is a wonderful performance by the still gorgeous Kim Catrall she's still in mean mode but god can she deliver those lines and still come off likable ultimately. So throwout what cynics will say about this sleeper treat and go experience this gold medal for your selves. 9/10
I thought it was great how there wasn't any ugliness in the whole movie! It was a totally positive movie! Positive, you just don't get that anymore. It was nice to take my girls to a movie that I wasn't squirming in my seat hoping that nothing foul or nasty would pop up! I wish there were more movies out there like that. Not everything has to have sex or cursing to sell! I had to give it only a 9 out of 10 though because I thought the editing was a little choppy. I'm not a film expert by any means so the fact that I noticed it says something, I think. Although, it was still better than Raise Your Voice, the editing in that was horrible!