Fiery chemistry between an arrogant ex ice hockey star from a working class background and
a rich snobby figure skater set the screen ablaze
with a tension that spans the entire film.
The Cutting Edge showcases some gripping chemistry between D.B. Sweeney (Doug) and Moira Kelly (Kate) as they strut their
stuff both on and off the ice.
The dialogue between blue collar Doug and spoilt Kate is incredibly witty, hilarious and believable as their conversations resemble something akin to a dirty alley cat in a heated exchange with a haughty stuck up show cat.
A cross between an inspirational sports film and a romance, The Cutting Edge is an uplifting crowd pleaser that depicts two individuals from different worlds who loathe each other reluctantly joining forces in a bid to win an Olympic medal.
I’d never heard of this film until one night, I arrived at the Drive-In with a group of friends and family to see whatever was playing that night. Once the film began and some of us realised ice-skating was involved, there were exasperated moans and groans. By the end of the film, the whole tribe were completely won over: “brilliant film”, “loved it”, “wow, I didn’t expect that”, “that was a really great film” and so it went.
Since then, I am not ashamed to say (although perhaps just a tad embarrassed) that I have watched this film almost every year since its release. I even own two copies (one to lend to friends).
For other screenwriters and actors, this movie could well serve as a lesson in how to create onscreen chemistry. For the viewer, as we unconsciously project ourselves onto the screen as one of the main characters, we get the live a kind of fantasy relationship that you might read about in a superbly written romance novel. Then we get to hone our skills, make sacrifices and reach the ultimate sports destination - the Olympics. Turn off the lights, put on the film, and go on this journey. Most males may be surprised at how much they enjoy The Cutting Edge and Doug’s smart wise cracking comments which take the ice queen to boiling point.
The filming of the skating sequences is seamless, and there is never a moment where you can tell a double might be onscreen. Charismatic, engaging and wonderfully directed, shot, and edited with great skating action, The Cutting Edge doesn’t need any bells and whistles to capture an audience - the pieces all fit, the dialogue is scintillating and the chemistry between the leads unforgettable.
The Cutting Edge (1992): Written by Tony Gilroy, Directed by Paul M Glaser, Starring D.B.Sweeney, Moira Kelly, Roy Dotrice and Terry O’Quinn.
Sequels: The Cutting Edge was so popular that three sequels were made with different actors, and although the sequels are somewhat enjoyable (in a twisted kind of way), they are not in the same class as the first and original, not even remotely close.
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