Sunday, May 22, 2005

Ice Princess (2005)

A "G" rated movie! About girls ice skating! And academics! Sounded good.

But then I had second thoughts. Disney. Feminism. Hmmm...

But I decided to go see it anyway with my girls, ages 8 and 3. James, age 5, tagged along. (David, age 10, declined my offer. LOL)

20 minutes into the film, my three-year-old lost interest. She decided that ballet dancing in the aisle was far preferable to sitting watching the movie. The lovely ice skating (as well as the ballet classes the skaters take) motivated her to dance, dance, dance! So, I spent much of the movie standing in the hallway into the theatre (with a view of the screen). This is the same child that watched ALL of The Incredibles. This movie is much shorter. Go figure.

My eight-year-old was utterly enthralled. Afterwards she said it was the best movie she had ever seen. The fickle opinions of a young girl!

Michelle Trachtenburg glowed as the main character, a high school physics 'geek' who develops an interest in ice skating as a result of a science project. Kim Cattrall, as her coach, and Joan Cusack, as her mother, had very little material to work with and delivered sadly limited performances. Cusack especially is capable of far more.

The plot was a little far-fetched, but fun all the same. I didn't particularly like the conclusion. Why do Disney movies always have the main characters ignoring their parents' counsel? OK, that was a rhetorical question. I don't really need an answer. But it bothers me just the same.

As far as movies go, this one is pretty clean. But sometimes we have to look beyond whether or not a film is clean or not and discern what the deeper meanings are. This one says "Follow your dreams", "Parents just don't understand", "Sports are more fulfilling than academics", and "Teenagers have to rebel." However, it also says, "Cheating is bad", "Work hard at whatever you're doing", and "You can achieve your dreams".

Maybe I am reading too much into a child's movie, or maybe I tend to over-analyze movies. But I think these themes are worth consideration.

I do think this film is worth a viewing for anyone with an interest in ice skating or for many young girls. However, I will be sure to set aside time to discuss these themes and not just allow them to simmer unchallenged in my children's minds.

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