2005 - G - 98 Mins.
|Director: Tim Fywell
|Producer: Kristin Burr
|Written By: Hadley Davis
|Starring: Michelle Trachtenberg, Joan Cusack, Kim Cattrall, Trevor Blumas
|Review by: Joe Rickey
|Official Site: www.iceprincessmovie.com
An introverted teen's (Michelle Trachtenberg) arithmetic project on the principles of aerodynamics leads to the development of an unbeknownst skill in figure skating in Walt Disney's 'Ice Princess,' directed by Tim Fywell.
One respects Disney for its consistent development of family-friendly films, basically being the only company releasing live action G-rated films. 'The Rookie,' the inspirational baseball drama that revived the fallen career of Dennis Quaid, sparked a new interest in said viability of the G rating. Now, Disney has produced yet another sports-related G-rated offering in 'Ice Princess.' The question then becomes whether 'Ice Princess' is as successful as 'The Rookie'? Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding no.
First off, 'Ice Princess' suffers from an overall feeling of simplicity and predictability coupled with generic as can be direction and storytelling techniques. While ‘The Rookie’ also had an air of predictability inherent within its structure, 'Ice Princess' takes the predictability quotient and maximizes it down to where even the most virgin film goers (who it is assumed this is aimed at, what with its G-rating and all) will be able to easily guess each and every single plot development down to a few instances where the exact words of dialogue are in reasonable territory of being inferred before actually being spoken on-screen. The plot never deviates from a set structure and instead is content on going from point A to point B with no element of surprise interspersed throughout. Director Tim Fywell is partly to blame as he telegraphs many moments with what appropriates a case of exceedingly heavy-handed glee, if that's what you deem to call it. His direction is overall very bland and imminently forgettable, not even taking the opportunity to spice things up during the figure skating scenes, which could use a little more gusto than the almost broadcast television method utilized here.
The film does benefit from one good performance that it is quite disappointing to say is surrounded by a few veteran actors displaying a complete lack of their talent. Take Joan Cusack, who can usually be counted on for giving at least a solid turn in most every film but here she is obviously going at it with a half-hearted effort. The same could be said for Kim Cattrall. As the requisite love interest, Trevor Blumas is ineffective in generating any sort of palpable chemistry with Trachtenberg.
Speaking of which, Trachtenberg gives the film's best performance, emanating more energy than the rest of the cast combined. She also manages to elevate some of the corny "Disney-fied" lines of dialogue above treacle by way of said energy.
Overall though, the film is a bland and overly predictable affair that is best left unseen unless you are a figure skating enthusiast and even then you may be better off just watching it on television for free.