We only watched this because Michelle "Dawnie" Trachtenberg was in it and Joan Cusack and Claire from Heroes and we stayed to the end. Now the title is clearly cynical, its plot is preposterous (Casey is far too old to improve so much as a skater) and it is mostly formulaic and clichéd. However, if I was the mother of a ten year girl I would be more than happy for her to watch this and not have her and my intelligence insulted because when it wasn’t clichéd it was quite refreshing. Casey and her friend are geeks but they don’t wear glasses and the friend isn’t plump. Small things but just how often does our heroine remove her glasses and suddenly she's beautiful (and able to see)? The seemingly shallow Gen wants to give up skating because, yes, she wants to party and be "normal" but also because she wants to do well enough in her studies to go to college. Not a classic but it was a thoroughly engaging 90 minutes or so,
I must add that Adam happily watched this film and seriously he and his friends totally undermine the insulting notion that boys will only watch male protagonists. He has also seen The Golden Compass twice.
The Golden Compass
Here is a film that I desperately wanted to like but I must class it as a failure because it did not have the courage to stick with the original storyline. I don’t have a problem with Nicole Kidman not being dark-haired or young because she captured the essence of Mrs Coulter’s charming malevolence but I do have a problem with sequences of events proceeding out of order leading to a talky ending rather than an intriguing one.
I don't really have much else to insightfully add except I was intrigued by a pair of reviews by Stephanie Zacharek of Salon of The Golden Compass and the spectacularly bland The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and wonder why she choose to bitch about Nicole Kidman ("She swans about like a drag queen in training.") and compare that comment with her take on Tilda Swinton as the White Witch ("There's no silly swanning around for this deep-freeze diva").