This 90s Movie: Cool As Ice (1991)

Cool As Ice is not the best movie in the world, believe it or not. It actually is something like the antithesis of a movie, having no real plot, no real characters, not great acting and no coherence whatsoever. It’s very entertaining because you’ll constantly wonder if what you’re seeing is really true. Or possible. Or if anyone thought about anything for one second. This movie is beyond belief. Unfortunately, for long stretches, it’s pretty boring but the entertaining bits are really good. Did I mention that this is the Vanilla Ice movie? When I was 9, I was a fan of Vanilla Ice for some months until I realized he wasn’t really cool compared to real hip-hop. So even little me was beyond Vanilla Ice when this movie came out, making me wonder how it ever got made since I can’t imagine what the audience for it was supposed to be. But I know, making fun of Vanilla Ice is somewhat lame and I should save that at least for my Did I Like This? post on his album (yes, that category will come back).

But let’s take a look at the incredible love story this movie offers and the way the woman is portrayed here. To the movie, Johnny (Vanilla Ice) and Kathy (Kristin Minter, really not bad considering the circumstances) are meant for each other, like a traditional movie couple. This must be one of the most forced relationships ever put on film because there is never even a hint why they should be together, if they share any interests or if they even know what the other one thinks about anything. He’s the hero, she’s the girl, that’s it. Johnny can do whatever he wants, she has to adore him for it. So, their meet cute is him riding on his motorcycle next to her riding a horse, which leads to him flying across a fence and landing in front of her horse, which freaks out and drops her. He basically almost kills her, which makes her angry. He says: “What’s your problem?” The answer is freakingly obvious, but nevertheless, she is intrigued by him. Because he risked her life for a stupid stunt? Because he doesn’t see a problem in that? There are enough reasons, I guess.

Next he pisses off her boyfriend (who is kind of a jerk of course), but more importantly he steals her organizer. We don’t know why, but he does. She should be upset that this guy, who endangered her, now steals from her and invades her privacy. But when she asks to have it back, she only does it flirtatiously. In fact, when she realizes it’s him, she smiles in the “Oh, he’s so cute” kind of way. She has fallen for him so much, that it is impossible for her to really take a stand. And we’re talking about someone who hasn’t spoken more than ten lines up to that point. Someone the audience doesn’t know at all either and never does.

They meet at a dance where (it’s so hard to describe this movie’s plot), after Johnny and his crew take over the place, they perform a song and Kathy dances with him in a way that is, well, slightly sexual. She lies on the ground and he humps her. While her boyfriend is watching.

The next morning, she wakes up and he is lying in bed with her. He broke into her house to lie in bed with her (not to mention, in shorts). This image alone, and the fact that she doesn’t mind, is the high point of this movie for me. It is not about love, it is all about showing a girl falling for a man, for no reason. She doesn’t need a reason, all she needs is a man who woos her. Even if it’s by illegal and offensive means.

They have a date, on a construction site and in the desert and on a meadow with a horse, where they kiss and probably have sex and not one meaningful conversation about anything. At the end of the movie she rides away with him on his motorcycle, after crashing her ex-boyfriend’s car, and the last real shot of the movie (before a final dance routine), is her absurdly happy, smiling face. The story of a girl with no agenda, who only waits for some cool (like really cool, almost as cool as…) guy to pick her up and take her away.