ICE PRINCESS (Tim Fywell, 2005)
In ICE PRINCESS Casey Carlyle needs a great idea for a physics project, one that demonstrates her knowledge and conveys her personality. Michelle Trachtenberg stars as Casey, a bright girl who loves skating but is more assured in the classroom than on the ice. For her scholarship project she incorporates her passion for physics and ice skating. The more time Casey spends at the rink, the more she wants to try being a competitive figure skater, much to the objections of Joan Cusack as her academic-minded mother.
The usual fare for tween girls—think the Hilary Duff and Amanda Bynes movies—center on a love story and humor predicated on the idea that nothing is funnier than the protagonist falling down. ICE PRINCESS isn’t the greatest achievement in the history of film, but it’s a nice change of pace from its cinematic sisters. Plus, it has a legitimate excuse to have a klutzy main character, although this film doesn’t dwell on that or the humdrum romance. Instead ICE PRINCESS deals with real issues for real teenagers. Casey is torn between pursuing a dream of going to Harvard and devoting time to skating. The mothers struggle with their visions of their daughters’ futures versus what their girls want. It’s formulaic stuff, but the film treats the conflicts seriously and possesses a sweet demeanor.
(Review first aired on the March 29, 2005 NOW PLAYING)