‘Ice Princess’ is a formula for just OK | SummitDaily.com

‘Ice Princess’ is a formula for just OK


Fittingly, Disney has managed to make a mild, G-rated movie about figure skating that’s wildly uneven.

It seems fitting because figure skating’s the sport with the pretty, glittery exterior that overshadows a few ugly things: Even if the 5 a.m. practices and ultracompetitive parents don’t qualify, this is the same sport where, at the Olympic level, one competitor’s husband and his hired goons whacked another skater’s leg with a retractable riot baton. So it makes sense that Disney’s paint-by-numbers approach to kids’ movies doesn’t pay off quite like it usually does. In one respect, that’s not such a bad thing, because it keeps “Ice Princess” from being as tepid as it could have been. On the other hand, while “Ice Princess” is a better movie for avoiding a few of the obvious easy ways out, it just doesn’t happen enough for it to rise above formula.

Following formula is exactly what should get “Ice Princess” in trouble with those who who might otherwise like it, because it makes the rise of Casey Carlyle (Michelle Trachtenburg) from science geek to skating jock look like such a smooth glide.

As much as I’m sure readers enjoy picturing me turning salchows in tights and epaulets, I don’t have much of a history with figure skating beyond covering it occasionally as a sportswriter. Beyond that, I’m wary of any movie with “Princess” in the title that doesn’t involve Andre the Giant. But I’d think former skaters like Kimberly – who got up at 4:30 every morning to practice dodging riot batons before school – would be the ones most likely to give “Ice Princess” low marks for making Casey’s tranformation look so effortless.Uneven performances don’t help: Trachtenburg gives gawky, geeky Casey far more charm than the script deserves, and Joan Cusack elevates Casey’s demanding, feminist mom above stereotype. They deliver, whereas Kim Cattrall mails in her role as skating mom and coach Tina Harwood – kind of who Tonya Harding would be like if only she had opted for minivans over “Celebrity Boxing.”

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