Rugged ice hockey captain Matt Clark (Aaron Smolinski) is accidentally killed by an errant puck during a game in which a nebbish angel Allan (Brendan Beiser) was supposed to target an overweight fan in the stands. Now stranded in a heavenly transition station, Matt fumes – having been so close to going to the Olympics and achieving his lifelong dream of winning Olympic gold with fellow teammate and best friend Ray (Thomas Calabro). Matt then learns that he can return to earth…but only in the body of another person. And, he can never contact his girlfriend Danielle (Judy Tylor) or Ray again. Allan promises that Matt will still be a hero on the ice. However, Matt awakens in the body of Sarah (Nicholle Tom), a 17-year-old champion figure skater who has been in a coma. Of course, he does not recall any of Sarah’s memories or her ability to ice skate, and the doctors diagnose her with amnesia.
In addition to fumbling around in her new feminine body, Sarah must now learn how to figure skate. Her only motivation in commanding her new body to perform is to get to the Olympics so she can once again see Ray and Danielle. With the aid of Tracy (Tara Lipinski), a skating teammate, Sarah regains her prowess and her trademark, the triple axel, and discovers that he is still very much a part of Ray and Danielle lives. Airs first on Fox Family channel, 3/5/00 (8-10 PM ET/PT).
Teens may prefer this remake to the dated 1941 version of “Here Comes Mr. Jordan.” This rendition is in color, featuring stars they will recognize, and has a gender twist with a macho male coming back to life as a prissy female skater. But the previously made fantasy, which starred Robert Montgomery, is far superior in theme and delivery. Although I found most of the humor and all of the performances best suited for adolescents, (and I’m being charitable), “Ice Angel” is a film populated by decent people who learn life-lessons by film’s end.
As for the theme of reincarnation, this film may open this subject up for discussion between parents and children. (Hebrews 9:27). Families may also find this an excellent catalyst for discussing the subject of angels. Searching the scriptures, you will find that these beings are anything but the bumblers they are portrayed as in this production.
Parents beware: There is an unwed pregnancy, implying that Matt and his girlfriend in his “former” life had been living together outside marriage. However, the film indicates that there has been a price to pay for their disobedience to God’s ordinance. Now she is a single mother, with a child who will never know his father. The film has a few other problems, including the portrayal of Sarah’s parents as dimwitted, but it also presents a positive message about friendship as Sarah/Matt begins to think of others first.