What Breaks the Ice is a promising coming of age story written and directed by Rebecca Eskreis. The film tells the story of two teenage girls from different worlds; Emily (Madelyn Cline) and Sammy (Sofia Hublitz) – one rich, one poor –  who form an unlikely friendship during the summer of 1998. While billed as a thriller, What Breaks the Ice is definitely more of a YA drama. It tries its best to tackle real-life issues, but unfortunately falls flat.

While having the summer of their dreams, Sammy and Emily find themselves in the middle of a murder coverup, not a mystery. Emily finds Sammy being assaulted by a local boy – or at least that’s what she thinks. After ripping him off of her, the boy falls on the ground dead. Did he hit his head? Did he overdose on drugs? We never really know, but the girls feel responsible. 

Dismissing The Truth In What Breaks The Ice

As much as Eskries is trying to bring attention to the troubles of our society and our youth I personally feel she actually does them a huge disservice. After having a multitude of conversations about why they cannot confess – the rich girl will get a good lawyer, the poor girl will go to jail – the juxtaposition of each girl’s status in life feels unimportant. The evidence was pretty cut and dry for this trope to be a part of her “coming of age” film. On top of that, in the end, the police are dismissive of the truth. When the male officer is asked by his female partner if he believes that the girl’s story is true; he quickly dismisses her concerns by saying he believes it’s true enough.

In a time where women and men are not believed when reporting their rapes and assaults, it feels incredibly irresponsible for the film to end this way. Overall, Cline and Hublitz did what they could with the script, but What Breaks the Ice is definitely a movie you can skip. 

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