The Cutting Edge
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this skating film's PG rating belies several scenes of mild sexuality and one scene of binge drinking presented as celebrating. Doug sleeps with different women and Kate throws herself at Doug after an all-night drinking binge. Doug gets injured twice, once by his hockey teammates and once by Kate. Doug doesn't remember the name of the girl he slept with and generally treats women as sex objects. Kate is an angry character who finds Doug a good outlet for her frustrations. Overall, the film provides a good illustration of ambitious young women and what they sacrifice to get what they want.
What's the story?
Sex, drugs, and … figure skating? Yep. THE CUTTING EDGE is a kind of souped-up retelling of The Taming of the Shrew, with a strong, compelling female lead and a strong man just sensitive enough to know a good thing when he sees it. Doug (D.B. Sweeney) is that man, a philandering hockey player who sustained a serious injury during the Olympics that stopped his career in its tracks. Meanwhile, Kate (Moira Kelly) is the perfect ice princess, literally. When she falls on the ice during the Olympics, she blames her partner and spends the next two years eviscerating any man who comes close to her personal ice rink in tony Connecticut. Then in walks Doug, who is not intimidated by Kate or her rages. But can they work well enough together to be ready for the nationals in a year? And can Kate and Doug finally reach their goals of winning a gold medal?
Is it any good?
As far as romantic comedies go, the answer to how the story ends is obvious, but getting there is all the fun. There are great montages of workouts and fumbling on the ice. Soon it becomes clear why these two are attracted to each other: they're both uber-competitive and neither are intimidated by the other. What's most interesting here is that Kate is a complex, driven woman looking for an equal, not someone easily intimidated by her considerable strengths. The message of the film, in the end, is finding true love means finding someone who accepts you just the way you are.
However, the film's weakness is also a problem universal to love stories: the chemistry between Kate and Doug is electric and also dramatic. They fight and often they hate each other. And while this is fun to watch, it's no fun to be in such relationships. Impressionable teens may not understand that.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the double standard in behavior that's acceptable from Kate and Doug. Why is it OK for Doug to have anonymous sex with women and take weekend breaks, when Kate is required to stay around the house, skate constantly, and never see her boyfriend? Do you see double standards like that in your own lives? What do you think about Kate's priorities and how did they shift at the end of the film? Where does the pressure to succeed come from in her life? Why is your state of mind so important in any competition? What do you do to prepare for sports or tournaments?