A pretty high-school science geek with a penchant forfigure skating uses physics to land a better lutz in "Ice Princess,"a follow-your-dream movie that is far less cliche-riddled than you mightexpect from such G-rated Disney fare.
Michelle Trachtenberg (the little sister from "Buffythe Vampire Slayer") stars as Harvard-bound misfit Casey Carlyle,who combines her two passions hoping to win a scholarship by proving sciencecan improve her skating. In the process, she discovers her calling maylie on the ice instead of in a lab -- although there are many obstaclesto overcome, including a disapproving dowdy-feminist mom ("I justcan't get past the twinkie little outfits," frowns the wonderfullywry Joan Cusack) and some backstabbing ugliness from fellow competitors.
But the delight of "Ice Princess" is that there'smore to every almost character than meets the eye. Kim Cattrall ("Sexand the City"), for example, plays a disgraced former champion skaterwho begrudgingly helps Casey while vicariously coaching her beautiful in-crowddaughter Gen (talented Hayden Panettiere) toward a career on the ice. Appearingto be antagonistic stereotypes at first, both reveal unexpected aspectsof empathy and authentic human frailty as Casey's rapidly growing talentthreatens Gen's standings in local competitions.
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Sometimes you can see one but not the other.
It's time for a riot grrrl revolution.