17-year-old physics whiz Casey Carlyle is urged by her physics teacher to work on a physics project over the summer for presentation to Harvard. As a skater, Casey decides on a project that shows the elements of physics applied in competitive figure skating. To start, she visits a skating club run by former professional skater Tina Harwood. Casey eventually finds that in order to better understand the principles she's using, she will have to become her own test subject, and joins the skating school. The more she gets involved, the more she falls in love with figure skating....and must ultimately make a choice; Will it be Harvard - which her mother and Casey have both dreamed of, or will it be her new dream - as a competitive figure skater?
Not to be confused with Winter Royal Lady
or the book by Camilla Lackberg.
- And Starring: Michelle Trachtenberg (although she's actually billed above the title). See also Billing Displacement.
- Artistic License: The many inconsistencies in this movie (being able to pass two levels in one go, reaching Nationals after a year of skating, etc.) make many a skater wince.
- Although Casey passing two levels in one go was met with disbelief by her fellow skaters.
- Probably the worst offender is Tina's Kick the Dog moment with the new skates. Any figure skater who's wore better-than-recreational new boots knows Casey should have noticed instantly how impossible skating in them would be. They feel like wearing casts and she would have been unable to warm up, let alone compete.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Casey is a math and physics nerd who applied her skills to become a figure skater. She soon becomes a competitor in the U.S. Nationals.
- Beautiful All Along: Casey at the party that Gen takes her to.
- Billing Displacement: Michelle Trachtenberg, who plays Casey - you know, the main character - is billed below Joan Cusack (who for some reason gets top billing) and Kim Cattrall.
- Blondes are Evil /Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Gen goes from the former to the latter throughout the movie.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Gen calls her mom out for pushing her to be an ice skater when she would rather be in school studying.
- The Cameo: Michelle Kwan and Brian Boitano show up as commentators at sectionals.
- Cassandra Truth: Casey doesn't believe Gen and Teddy when they say that they weren't a part of their mother sabotaging her.
- The Cast Showoff:
- While both Michelle Trachtenberg and Hayden Panettiere (Gen) do a lot (though not all) of their own skating, Panettiere also sings "I Fly" as the last part of the Credits Medley.
- Also, the actresses who played Nikki, Zoe, and Tiffany are all actual skaters.
- The Chick: Gen.
- Education Mama: Joan, to a lesser extent. She pushes her daughter to study and do well, and is upset that she chooses ice skating over Harvard. Although she does come around.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Nikki the Jumping Shrimp. Subverted in that she is the only person who doesn't seem to think it's embarrassing.
- Possibly a Shout-Out to Tara Lipinski, who was once (unflatteringly) tagged "the Robotic Shrimp" by sports media.
- Everyone Loves Blondes: Everyone admires Gen Harwood because she shines on the rink and at school.
- Face-Heel Turn: Tina.
- Girl Next Door: Casey
- Glamorous Single Mother: Joan and Trina are both single with kids and are fairly well off.
- Jackie Robinson Story: Sort of. The Protagonist is the same age, sex, and ethnicity as the other young figure skaters she wants to compete with, yet is hassled for this ambition — even by her own mom — because she's a latecomer to skating and a science geek.
- Jerk Ass: Zoe Block, although she is the one to clue Casey in about the trick Tina pulled on her
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tina
- Kick the Dog: Tina purposely buys Casey a new pair of skates (Casey, being a novice, doesn't know she needed to break into the new skates first) during a skating competition so that Casey would fall and injure her feet.
- Lovable Alpha Bitch: Gen comes off as an inconsiderate party girl at first, but later turns out to be a good friend and guide to Casey. Notably, Gen seems quite disgusted by Tina's Kick the Dog moment, even though Tina was doing it for her.
- Mama Bear: Casey's mom Joan, while not approving of her daughter's decision to skate, angrily calls out Tina for the above Kick the Dog moment.
- My Beloved Smother: Both Casey and Gen's moms are forcing their own ambitions and dreams to their daughters.
- Ordinary High-School Student: Casey, Gen, and most of the other characters who aren't parents or teachers.
- Serious Business: Ice skating, for the skaters themselves (particularly Nikki) and doubly so for their parents. See Kick the Dog above.
- Shaking Her Hair Loose: Gen takes Casey to a party without telling her where they were going. Gen tells her that it's okay that she's not dressed for a party as long as she shakes it.
- Straw Feminist: Casey's mom.
- Technician Versus Performer: Gen and Casey. Gen eventually quits because she doesn't have the same passion as her mom, she sacrificed her personal life and neglected her schoolwork to focus on technique. Casey, by contrast, loves skating.