With the help of her coach, her mom, and the boy who drives the Zamboni machine, nothing can stop Casey (Trachtenberg) from realizing her dream to be a champion figure skater.With the help of her coach, her mom, and the boy who drives the Zamboni machine, nothing can stop Casey (Trachtenberg) from realizing her dream to be a champion figure skater.With the help of her coach, her mom, and the boy who drives the Zamboni machine, nothing can stop Casey (Trachtenberg) from realizing her dream to be a champion figure skater.
The plot is simple and "age worn" - a teen named Casey (Michelle Trachtenberg) is torn between fulfilling the dreams of her parent or following her own dreams. Nothing new here. Yet, the supporting characters of Gen Harwood (Hayden Panettiere) and her mother Tina (Kim Cattrall) also have the same situation. Tina, a skating coach, wants her daughter to become a skating champion, an achievement Tina was unable to fulfill in her own skating career. Thus, both Gen and Casey have something in common: pleasing mom or pleasing themselves.
Yet, Gen and Casey were dramatically different. Casey was a brilliant student with her eyes on Harvard while being gifted at skating, too. Meanwhile, Gen excelled only by becoming a slave to skating and sacrificing her schoolwork.
And it is with that difference that I believe Disney missed the potential. The "Casey's" of the world are few and far between, and it is difficult to relate to them: "Oh, gee. Will I go to Harvard because I'm brilliant at school? Or will I become a skating champion because I'm brilliant on the ice?" Because she is so distant from the vast majority of people, she never truly grabbed my empathy.
Gen, on the other hand, is very, very real. She is being pushed into a sport by a parent, and her social life and academics are suffering. She faces a real dilemma. Plus, she has no hope of excelling at either academics or skating. Her social life is her only escape from this vise. And Gen is endearing because she seems to have a "good heart" despite the difficulty. And how often we see kids with "good hearts" trapped by situations.
I believe that most of us can relate much better to Gen than to Casey. I would have preferred the character of Gen to be the focus of the story with Casey's character in the supporting role. It would be tougher, grittier, and more meaningful to the audience.
Yeah, we all cheered for Casey, but I was cheering for Gen even more.
- Aug 16, 2005