I was flipping through a People magazine recently when I saw a blurb that Ice Castles is being remade. Remember that movie with Robby Benson and Lynn-Holly Johnson as the blind ice skater? It is cheesier than a log of Velveeta but boy, did it make me cry when I first saw it in 1978.
I was in 7th grade when I walked to the nearby movie theater after school by myself to see this movie. When the Johnson character, Alexis Winston, had the accident and lost her sight, I was crushed, CRUSHED. What would happen to her dreams of becoming a world champion figure skater?! But wait, along came a cute boy named Nick (Benson) who helped her realize she could still triumph in a skating competition and in life, blindness be damned. By the time that theme song played over the end credits, I was sobbing into my bucket of corn.
But it didn’t end there. I went out and bought the sheet music for said theme song, “Looking Through the Eyes of Love” by Melissa Manchester, and spent weeks plinking it out on our yard-sale piano, singing in my most angsty voice, “Please don’t let this feeling end, it’s everything I aaam…,” wondering when someone would come along to look through my eyes of love. Oy. Did I mention I was a very young girl?
This memory is funny to me because nowadays, I am allergic to sap. I roll my eyes violently at the slightest hint of melodrama. But when this remake airs on TV, I’ll probably tune in. It’s interesting that the original director, Donald Wrye, is also doing the remake. How many times has that happened? (Off the top of my head, I can only think of Alfred Hitchcock and The Man Who Knew Too Much.) This version has real-life figure skater Taylor Firth in the lead role, with Rob Mayes (American Mall) as Nick. Michelle Kwan will also cameo.
But the real reason I’ll probably watch is to see whether 30 years of intervening life experience will allow me to react to the movie in the same way. Though I’m highly skeptical, there’s a part of me that hopes the answer will be yes.
Any other closet Ice Castles fans out there? See if the video below brings back memories. If not, which sappy movie do you think is ripe for a remake and why? Leave me a comment and I promise I won’t judge (unless you say Beaches).