THE CUTTING EDGE (1992)

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Elizabeth

I don’t know what Chris will say about The Cutting Edge but if it’s negative you probably shouldn’t listen because it’s one my favorite movies ever. I know a lot of that comes from the fact that I grew up watching it over and over again, but stiiiiiill. To me, it still completely holds up after 20+ years. It’s sort of goofy, but it’s not trying to not be goofy, either.

When I was younger, I always felt conflicted about Kate (Moira Kelly). In a lot of ways, I wanted to be like her: she was rich, beautiful, thin, ambitious, and an Olympian. Buuuut she’s also kind of mean. Like, really mean sometimes. As the story progresses it becomes more clear that a lot of Kate’s bitterness comes from her mother dying when she was young and being constantly pushed by aggressive males (like her father and coaches) into figure skating. It’s sort of implied that Kate has been skating for so long that she doesn’t remember if she ever even liked it. But her anger has made her nearly impossible to work with, making her partner-less. In comes Doug (D. B. Sweeney), a hockey player whose career was cut off while he was still in college because of an eye injury. Naturally, I always thought Doug was super cute and sweet. I still do, but watching the movie as an adult it’s clearer that Kate isn’t the only difficult one. Doug can be arrogant and inflexible, and sometimes just as mean as Kate. But they both want to skate, and no hockey team will take Doug and Kate’s already gone through the small pool of male figure skaters, so they have to get along.

As any sports movie should, The Cutting Edge is filled with some great montages, mostly of Kate and Doug training. And as the film moves along, it also becomes a little more serious as they get closer to the Winter Olympics and come across serious obstacles. But in the end, what I think makes The Cutting Edge so great is Moira and Sweeney’s chemistry. I’m not sure if a relationship as volatile as theirs would actually be successful in real life, but their banter and sexual tension certainly feels realistic.

The Cutting Edge is also interesting as an adult because of how it shaped my ideas of drinking. As I mentioned before, I was at first, as a child, very confused by Kate saying she doesn’t drink and that she’d never had a drink in her life. I didn’t realize she meant alcohol, so I thought there was something crazy going on with her, until my mom explained what she meant. Then the scene of Kate and Doug drinking together made going out and drinking look so fun as a kid. I know that sentence is what the MPAA dreams of, but it’s not like it made me want to drink when I was 10, I just assumed it would be a fun activity when I was an adult. Of course, flash forward 15ish years later to present-day me and I now realize that drinking is expensive, causes transportation issues, and makes me sick (especially tequila, which is what they drink in the movie). Oh well.

I hope people don’t write off The Cutting Edge just because it’s a romance from 1992. Because it’s also an awesome sports movie, it just happens to be sweet and charming, too.

Christopher

Elizabeth really likes this movie. I’m not quite sure why she thought I would like it. We at least got through it.

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