Theater First Viewing, 1 Fywell film seen

Ice Princess is a perfectly fine film for the 10-year-olds it is targeted to. It tells the same "follow your dream" story as many other films have done before - even Robots. But what makes Ice Princess a hell of a lot better than Robots is its respect for its audience. You won't find any fart or sex jokes in this one. But you will hear enough "girlie pop songs" to make you never listen to the radio again.
This movie was cute, but totally rated G. However, I have a hard time seeing Kim Cattrall and Michelle Tractenberg in anything G rated after Sex in the City and Eurotrip respectively. But besides that, the movie was actually good. A good movie to laugh at with my female friends in their 20s or to take youngins to.
I took my family to see this movie yesterday and I have to say that I was impressed. It turned out to be better than I thought it would be. I did find some of it to be cheesy, but it was a good cheese, like Cheddar. I liked the characters and thought overall the actors did a good job. Was it believeable? Maybe not, but then how many movies are these days? Not as good as National Treasure, but one of the better releases from Walt Disney Pictures in the last year. If you've got kids, especially younger ones, then this movie is great to take them to. My 8 year old daughter and 5 year old son were clapping and cheering throughout the movie and the absolutely loved it.

I saw this late last night, and I thought it was an ok movie. I thought it had a cute story, some good acting, not to mention some one of my favorite actresses Joan Cusack, I think she is hillarious, although she isn't in this movie. I thought the story was good, I didn't find any of it boring. I like the story of making your dream happen, and following your dream not others, a good story for all kids to learn. So see this, it was good.
review later
Ice Princess is really good!!! It is defently a mother daughter story.
It's been awhile since I've seen a "G" movie, and sometimes (mostly because I watch quite a bit of horror films) I forget just how wholesome you have to be to get that rating. And "Ice Princess" is nothing if not wholesome.

Michelle Trachtenburg ("EuroTrip") stars as Casey, a high school physics geek who loves watching ice skating. She's up for a prestigious physics scholarship, but must come up with a personal project to be considered. She decides to apply the laws of physics to skating to see if there is a formula for a perfect jump.

Joan Cusack ("Raising Helen") gives her always excellent best to the role of Casey's feminist mom who would just die if she saw Casey wearing a skimpy skating outfit. The two are close, but tensions begin to rise between the two as Casey falls in love with skating and thinks of giving up her Harvard dreams to pursue the sport.

As I watched the movie, there were parts which felt familiar. Every teen-pursing-their-dream story inevitably has similar aspects. But the film never felt trite. Tratchenburg (of whom I've been a fan since 1996's "Harriet the Spy") doesn't have as much to sink her teeth into with this script as she did playing Dawn on the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" television series. but she still won me over with her irrepressible perkiness

And the side characters were entertaining as well, especially Kirsten Olsen as Nikki a.k.a The Jumping Shrimp. I think she'll be popping up more.

"Ice Princess" is good, clean family entertainment with excellent potential for mother/daughter bonding.
Ice Princess - 1/4
In Disney's second family film release this month two genres that hold a great deal of formula weight come together, half sports movie and half "teenager defies parent to find one's calling" movie, Ice Princess is a film with a good heart that is weighed down by indecisive mood.

In her senior year of High School, gifted student Casey Carlyle, played by rising star Michelle Trachtenberg, is offered the opportunity to win a physics scholarship to Harvard. In order to impress, Casey must put together a project that is unique in the field of physics as well as personal to her. Having a general interest in figure skating Casey decides to define figure skating by way of physics. After spending a lot of time at the rink and little time on the ice Casey decides to go for a few lessons and soon discovers she has some raw talent for the sport. The rest of the film I am sure you can figure out, but some of the subplots along the way add more strength to the story then you would expect.

Since Casey is a straight A student who is being offered a scholarship to Harvard, her mother, played by Joan Cusack, is pushing her plans for Casey's future pretty hard and believes the time Casey spends at the rink is a waste. What stop this predictable mother-daughter relationship from being boring are the performances. Both Trachtenberg and Cusack play their characters straight with real emotion, Casey knows she is a gifted student but skating is what she is passionate about and so she and her mom must grow to understand this new gift and passion.

In addition, there is Casey's relationship with another figure skater, Gen, who has worked hard her whole life to be as good as she is but Gen's mom, who is also the girls' coach, pushes Gen beyond her passion for the sport and so instead of becoming the competition Gen becomes an authentic friend and support to Casey. Gen also has a brother, Teddy, and Casey and Teddy begin to spend a lot of time together. Teddy drives the Zamboni at the local rink and also becomes a support to Casey but more in a romantic way. Though the set-up sounds simplistic the execution is done quite soundly, all the performances are right on, no actor is out of stride, the relationship between the mother and daughter, between the two girls, and with Teddy are all convincing and enjoyable to watch.

Despite the solid performances and the good hearted story, director Tim Fywell looses his edge at times, no pun intended, and brings a little too much cheese to the table. Fywell has chosen good actors who are able to bring the story to a unique level but he still pushes the dramatic button a little too hard when he decided to shoot a lot of dialogue with hand-held (referring to the camera) close-ups. A director who shoots so close so often is trying to manipulate the audience rather then let the actors convince the viewers of the drama. The script is also flawed as it tries too hard to convince us of Casey's "nerd-e-ness." We believe Casey is a gift student but I do not believe anyone that intelligent spews out that many physics formulas in casual social settings. As well, I have never been a fan of sports commentary interlaced through the course of a sports film. We get enough color commentary on the real ESPN; we do not need cameos narrating the events of a film that could otherwise hold its own, if only the director realized that.

So in the end, Ice Princess is a predictable movie that is filled with solid performances, and good intentions. But with a director that pushes the drama a little too hard and a few scenes that add a little too much cheese I say that this film is well worth the rental fees when it comes out on DVD.
Far from being one of the world's most discerning filmgoers, today I decided to indulge in my monthly helping of cheese and went to watch Ice Princess. (Yes, I will never learn.) Expecting badness of every possible kind, and therefore an inadvertent glorious charm, I was most disappointed when I instead encountered an string of bland, bland moments cobbled into a far-too-long movie. Okay, I really shouldn't have expected too much, since this movie's tagline is 'From Mathlete to athlete', and it stars Michelle Trachtenberg as Casey, the unfeasibly cute science geek (technically 'Mathlete' was misleading advertising), who frees herself from the Harvard dreams her over-protective mother Joan (Joan Cusack) has long harboured for her and finds her calling (no kidding!) as an ice-skating princess. Not only does Casey triumph over catty tweenaged competitors like blonde, popular Gen Harwood (Hayden Panettiere) and Gen's ruthless 'skating mom' slash coach Tina (Kim Cattrall), she totally falls for the dude who runs the Zamboni machine in Tina's ice rink--Tina's son Teddy (Trevor Blumas).

I wasn't expecting great shakes from this movie, obviously. Just a fun time, and a few good laughs, even if it's at the movie's expense. Unfortunately, the makers of IP took themselves very seriously indeed in their diligent manufacturing of a painfully by-the-numbers, ploddingly typical geek-turned-goddess story. There isn't even an attempt to step out of the well-defined tween flick boundaries; everything is so conventional it almost hurts, except that would involve having a gut reaction to the movie of some sort, instead a general benign bewilderedness. You know a movie's in trouble when the most emotional moment is delivered by resident blonde stereotype Gen, rebelling against her mother's "you must ice-skate so you can have the future I never had!" dictum. Dialogue is hopelessly mundane, and much as I enjoyed the little snatches of score by Christophe Beck, I couldn't help feeling that his music was awfully similar to what he'd done (and done better) on Buffy years before.

Even the performances are so rote as to be a darn waste. Trachtenberg, so effective on Buffy, only shows she's not ready to leave her comfort zone of being a supporting member on a cult TV show buoyed by a fantastic main cast. She's not off-putting the way I imagine Hilary Duff would be (I've not seen a single Duff movie, because the way she acts in interviews alone makes me want to crush a soda can against her head in a way that would induce either her death or mine), but sorely needed someone on the movie to provide some kind of anchor for her mostly flighty performance. I had such high hopes that either Cattrall or Cusack could save the movie, as some reviews I'd skimmed previously had indicated they would. Unfortunately, I found nothing in either of their performances that suggested the comic genius both ladies have displayed on other occasions. Cattrall, for one, phoned in her performance in the worst way, spending the entire movie with the same pinched, constipated expression on her face that will only fuel any speculation that she's been Botoxed within an inch of her life. The biggest travesty, however, is how IP managed to squander the talents of the hugely under-rated Cusack, who has brightened up the screen in many a lesser movie. Here, clearly receiving no help at all from director or script, Cusack can only deliver a hopelessly one-note performance as Casey's hysterical, shrieky mother. Blasted shame--if you have Cusack (either Cusack, actually) signed up, bloody well make good use of her/him!


(Reviewer's note: this movie probably isn't the worst I've seen, although it's currently holding the worst rating I've ever given a movie on RT. It's just that IP has suffered from my recent decision to impose a stricter ranking system than I previously used to do. IP certainly isn't any worse than, say, How To Deal. Shudder.)