Stepping out of our comfort zone is often easier said than done. Especially when you want something, but it seems impossible.
In the 2005 movie, Ice Princess (based on a story by Meg Cabot), Casey (Michelle Trachtenberg) is a brain with a capital B. A bookworm who never quite fits in with her classmates, Casey dreams of becoming a championship figure skater. But her mother, Joan (Joan Cusack) has visions of her daughter climbing up the academic track. Casey wants to be like Gen (Hayden Panettiere), the popular girl who has some serious ice skating skills and an attitude to match. Gen’s mother, Tina (Kim Cattrall), a former figure skater, offers to train both girls.
Casey is faced with two seemingly impossible obstacles: disappointing her mother and training without the support of those around her. The only one who believes in her is Teddy (Trevor Blumas), Gen’s brother. Will Casey achieve her dream or she is doomed to failure?
Is Ice Princess just a tad too predictable? Without a doubt. But it has the timeless message of going after what you want, even if it seems impossible.
Do I recommend it? Maybe.
For most of human history, women’s voices have either been muted or silenced all together. Through generations of struggle, women have come very far in a very short time.
One of the markers of this change is Sex and the City. This week, the show is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Set in New York City, Sex and the City or SATC tells the story about the lives of four single women. Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), the program’s protagonist, is a writer who writes a column about sex and love based on her own life. She is best friends with Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon), an type-A lawyer, Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), a publicist who has been around the block and Charlotte York (Kristin Davis), a traditionalist who works as an art dealer.
I very much appreciate the groundbreaking aspects of SATC. While the women had quite a few boyfriends, the men were secondary. The women and their friendship was primary. I also very much appreciate that the characters were sexually active and treated it as a natural part of adulthood instead of being ashamed of their actions. No subject was off the table with these women, they talked about issues that everyday women talk about with their friends.
However, I should point out that there are a few chinks in the armor when it comes to SATC.
- While Carrie’s apartment was beautiful, it was a fantasy. Most writers would not be able to afford that apartment in real life.
- The lack of people of color.
- The fact that all of the leading actresses were a little too skinny.
- The hookup culture that permeated the love lives of the characters. There are many women who would prefer wait to sleep with their dates or their significant others.
- The New York City that is presented in SATC has a very glossy feel to it. The New York City that I know is a little grittier and not as pretty.
- In the end, Carrie still lived out the traditional happy ending when she and Mr. Big (Chris Noth) finally made it official.
While SATC was not completely true to life, it was still a huge step forward when it came to how women were portrayed on television. For that reason alone, SATC will live on forever in the heart and minds of the fans and television viewers everywhere.
Sometimes, when we are lonely and desperate, it’s easier to create a vision of perfection instead of going out and fighting for what we want.
In the 1987 movie, Mannequin (which is basically a 1980’s reboot of Pygmalion and My Fair Lady), Jonathan Switcher (Andrew McCarthy) is an artist who seems to lose more jobs than he can get. He finally hits a career high when he creates the perfect mannequin, Emmy (Kim Cattrall) who only comes to life in his eyes. He also falls in love with her. Will this utopia last or is Jonathan just fooling himself?
What is interesting about this film is that it speaks to the question of what is reality and what is fantasy. It also speaks to the deep need for companionship and love when we feel that we have neither.
Do I recommend it? I am leaning toward yes.