Rated: G Reviewed by: Chris Release date: March 18, 2005 Released by: Walt Disney Pictures
Casey Carlyle (Michelle Trachenberg - TV’s “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”) is a high school physics whiz, who ice skates in her Connecticut back yard pond for fun.
She’s encouraged by her teacher to try out for a physics scholarship, and to incorporate some personal aspect in her project.
Mom (Joan Cusack) has been planning with Casey for the day she would be accepted at Harvard, but on a single mother’s teachers salary, a scholarship is necessary.
Casey decides to combine her two loves by taking her camera and laptop to the local ice rink and come up with a physics theory that applies to the skater’s jumps. The rink, owned by tough skating coach (Kim Catrall) is off limits to any outsiders, but Casey persuades her that she’s only there to observe and not to steal secrets of the Olympic hopefuls.
While watching the girls performing their spins, Casey realizes that she might want to become a skater, which she knows will break her mother’s heart.
Casey is a shy, studious girl and performing on the ice makes her open up to new experiences. She goes to a party with kids that think she’s a nerd, and is even open to a new romance. Michelle is perfect in this role, she immediately engages us on her side with her enormous eyes that project every emotion and although she doesn’t do all of the jumps herself, she does skate well enough to make it all look very real.
There’s more than just skating and physics going on here, the film also shows the true dedication that competing skaters have. Getting up at the crack of dawn for ice time, practicing every night while friends are dating and working two or more jobs to pay for the expensive coaches and equipment are a small part of it.
Ice Princess also shows the similarity between stage mothers, whether they’re pushing their kids towards academia like Casey’s mom, or the unfaltering way that the skater’s parents push them to excel, neither one is very attractive, but the script, of course works out in the end.