Monday, May 10, 2010

Ice Castles (1978)

Ice Castles, the story of Lexi Winston: "a girl who refused forget she was once a champion."

Except that for a painful 30 minutes in the middle of the movie, she did forget that she was a champion. Once. She literally won once.

Let me back this thang up before I confuse you:

Ice Castles is the story of Lexi Winston: a small town figure skater with big dreams who must overcome seemingly impossible obstacles to live her dream! 

Lexi is so small town that she practices in an ice rink attached to a bowling alley. After some drama and tension because I don't know why Lexi's coach convinces her dad to let Lexi compete in the Seven County Kiwanis Skating Competition. He hesitated giving his permission because he didn't want the big city girls to eat her up. Cuz, you know those girls from Des Moines and their sparkly costumes. Vicious.

Also, Lexi has a cute boyfriend by the name of ROBBIE BENSON! Aka: the voice of the Beast.

Dreamy? y/n?

Despite being teased by all the "big city" girls before her turn to skate, Lexi goes out onto that ice with a big smile and do you know what she does? She kicks some serious ass.

5.5   5.0   4.8   5.0   5.2

But her scores stink! Because, as her coach says, they couldn't believe what they saw. This is what the kids call foreshadowing. We learn in this movie that, in the skating world, it's about politics as much as it is about the skating. See: Johnny Weir and Robbed.

And this lady is all, hmmmmmm.......I see a STAR!

That lady is a big-time figure skating coach. She ends up convincing Lexi's dad to let Lexi train for the Olympics, even though Lexi is waaaay over the hill for a skater at the ripe old age of 16.

Hey, you know what's awesome about figure skating? The mid-motion screenshots:

For some reason this is Lexi's signature move. The crowd goes WILD whenever she does the splits jump. Ahhh, the 70s. Simpler timez.

Remember how earlier I said that figure skating is as much about politics as it is about skating? Well, Lexi's coach is real savvy, she arranges for a newsman to follow Lexi's training to build "buzz" around Lexi. That way, when she shows up for skating competitions, she'll be more than a flash-in-a-pan to the judges; she'll be the Next Big Thing.

Yarrrrr, thar's no fightin' in hockey!

Meanwhile, her boyfriend, Robbie Benson is trying out for the Minnesota North Stars hockey team and getting into fights that need to be broken up by a man with an eye patch.

And the newsman who's following Lexi's training falls in love with her.

Hey, remember when I said she was 16? Well, she's still 16. Wasn't this illegal in 1978?

Because Lexi is getting famous and Robbie Benson is stuck playing in a hockey farm league in Nebraska and it's really hard being young and shirtless, he and Lexi pretty much break up over the phone. But not all the way break-up. It's very unfinished.

It's so unfinished that when he shows up at one of her competitions and he catches her kissing the reporter (which, still illegal, yes?), he's none too happy about it.

And Lexi is all, "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck."

Later that night, Lexi is confused and drunk. So drunk she spends a good two minutes and 48 seconds staring at this ice sculpture. Yup, she does. Because she's confused. And drunk.

You know what's a bad idea? Skating while drunk.

Because this could happen.

Yes, Lexi skated while drunk, did a jump and landed in patio furniture and now....SHE'S BLIND!

(This movie is ridiculous.)

The next half hour is pretty painful because the movie gets really slow and there's a lot of DRAMA and ACTING.

It reminded me of watching "Julie and Julia" with my mom. Every time Meryl Streep would emote on the screen, my mom would say, "That's Acting!" (Love ya, Mom!)

That girl on the right is totally acting.
And, for some reason, she also reminds me of Amelia Gray.

That's acting!




Guy on the right: Acting.

I dare you to choose which blond is doing better Acting.

Yeah, so this is what Lexi can see now that she's BLIND:

You know what doesn't suck? The faces Lynn-Holly Johnson makes to evoke "blind"

This is what makes the movie bearable.

So then Robbie Benson teaches her to skate again (after the DRAMA and the ACTING about the pain of being BLIND) and then he and Lexi fall in love again and they do it in the back room of the skating rink/bowling alley.

Robbie decides the best thing in the world would be for Lexi to return to the skating competition from the beginning of the movie. When he proposes the idea to her dad, as played by Tom Skerritt, he is so not for it. He thinks she'll get hurt and blah blah blah. This is where the inspiration really comes in.

You see, in this inspirational sports movie it's not about winning or losing. As Robbie Benson says, it's about trying. Getting up off your ass and proving that you can do it! 

Tom Skerrit's response to this reasoning is: "The kid's never seemed too smart, but he's right"

So Lexi and Robbie Benson and Tom Skerrit and Lexi's coach hatch a plan to have her compete at regionals, but they're not going to tell anyone that she's blind, because if they do, she'll be pitied. And she doesn't want pity, she just wants to kick some figure skating butt!

Lexi goes out and skates the awesomest program ever. Totally rocks it. The crowd goes wild!


You see, Lexi is blind and therefore can't see the roses that everyone is throwing on the ice.

The audience is all, "What the-?"

And then Robbie Benson goes out onto the ice and helps her up and he says, "We forgot about the flowers" and this is where you start to cry because even though, up until this point, this movie has been 78% painful and 20% feathered hairstyles, that line just KILLS because they thought of everything else, but they forgot the flower! Can you believe it?!

So Robbie Benson walks Lexi to the middle of the ice so she can accept the crowd's cheers and she says, "Stay with me."
And Robbie Benson is all "You bet!"

And that's the end of the movie, which is one of the awesomer movie endings because
A) it's cute
B) it makes you so warm and fuzzy inside that you forget about the pedophilia and the cross-eyed acting and the guy with the eye patch that preceded this really lovely moment.

Really, the best way to sum up this movie and any person who voluntarily watches it is a line spoken by Lexi's coach on their way to the regionals where she will skate blind:
"God protects little children and fools...And she knows she's got her hands full with this crowd!"

She sure does, coach! 



  1. you're the blood in my boner mary hamilton

  2. I give a solid ten for the sweet Mary Quant inspired figure skating outfit. And the Melissa Manchester.