Ice Princess (2005)
★★★ / ★★★★
Michelle Trachtenberg stars as Casey Carlyle, a very intelligent high school senior who was on her way to attending Harvard University. Having a supportive but sometimes overbearing feminist mother (Joan Cusack), she decided to determine if there was an exact mathematical formula involving some of the moves in ice skating for a Physics scholarship. I’ve been wanting to see this movie ever since it came out but only recently did I finally decide to watch it when a friend mentioned it out of the blue. Even though the picture was a little wobbly with its acting (as most Disney movies designed for tweens and teens), I quite enjoyed it because it was nice to see a smart and multitalented girl going after her dreams. The characters also surprised me because at first I thought Hayden Panettiere was going to be a bully but it turned out that she had better things to do than to try to rule the school. It was so much more realistic than movies like “I Love You, Beth Cooper” (which I saw prior to this) in terms of story and character. I loved the scenes between Cusack and Kim Cattrall as Panettiere’s mother/skating coach. When they were in the same frame, there was a real sense of tension and a history in their respective characters. However, I didn’t care much for the blossoming relationship between the main character and the boy who drove a Zamboni machine (Trevor Blumas). It was cute but it felt forced because the film was really more about Casey’s struggle between what she wanted and what her mother wanted for her. Instead of spending time with the romance, I think those minutes could have been used to further explore the mother-daughter relationship and also Casey’s rocky relationship with her coach who happened to be a former ice skater herself. It had good comedic moments especially when the main character would converse with people she just met. She made me feel awkward because she couldn’t help talking about Physics (she really loves the subject). Granted, I understood some of the things she tried to say but it was really funny to me because I know some people like her. And I admit that there were times when I found bits of myself in her. I saw a lot of potential in this movie and it delivered most of the time. It was fun watching the ice skating competitions (with a cameo from Michelle Kwan) and I thought it was nice that it made fun of certain kinds of competitive personalities. If you’re in the mood for a harmless, feel-good movie with a good heart then this is a great choice to watch.