Here’s my theory. There is a certain kind of woman of a certain age who has a very specific response when someone brings up the 1992 cinematic masterpiece known as The Cutting Edge.
If you are that certain kind of woman, you are still reading. If you’re not, you’re not. Now you know what camp you fall into.
So now that you’re still reading….welcome, friend.
You know who you are. You saw the film in theaters in junior high or high school and were smitten, you watched it every single day during that uncertain summer between senior year and college, in your early twenties you developed a drinking game surrounding the phrase “toe pick,” and you plan on introducing it to your toddler daughter as soon as she is old enough for a movie with the word “foreplay” in it.
What was it about this film experience? Why, why, why did it suck so many of us in? On its surface, it’s a light romantic comedy (will-they, won’t-they get together?) combined with a typical sports film (will-they, won’t-they win the medal?). Of course from the opening sequence (“Honey, where I’m from, we stand for the National Anthem”), you know they will and they will.
But yet this movie has a way of captivating and sucking us in, so much so that if The Cutting Edge comes up at a party (you’d be surprised how often this has happened to me), it’s possible to get worked up into a quoting competition with a fellow cult member.
Who the hell do you think you are?
I know exactly who I am, sweetheart. I’m a guy who came a long way for lunch.
Well, please don’t let me keep you from the trough.
I wanna see your ass in the air!
Until Hercules here learns how to lock his grip, this will have to do!
If you’re so bored, why don’t you read?
What, you mean like a book?
That is a traditionally accepted format, yes.
Is this the beginning of a conversation, here?
I was just simply asking if you knew how to read.
Yes. Doug can read.
Okay, slow down there, Jennifer. Woah, nelly.
So what is it that makes this movie so special? Well, I have a few theories.
The witty banter
It’s almost like The Cutting Edge is our generation’s The Philadelphia Story. Need proof? See above. Unlike most sappy rom-coms, Kate and Doug don’t sound like a Hallmark card when they talk to each other. The banter is sharp as a steak knife and lots of fun. Obviously. I mean, how else would we remember this little exchange twenty years later?
What do you do, shower once a week?
Is that an invitation?
Doug Dorsey sort of oozed sex.
Now D.B. Sweeney isn’t exactly famed in the same way Brad Pitt has been revered as a sex god (the last time I saw him was in a Lifetime movie playing a harried suburban dad, and honestly he looked a little bloated), but somehow as Doug Dorsey he gave off the essence of being a total dynamo in the sack.
When I saw this in the theater, I remember my incredibly naïve 16-year-old self being totally shocked (and quite excited) by the idea that Doug Dorsey had to go on a weekend trip to Boston to get his sex groove on (or as Kate put it, to go “whoring”). How randy was this guy that he couldn’t handle going a few months without Doin’ It? He was preparing for the Olympics, but still, he had to go have anonymous sex in Boston for two days just to survive day to day. Wow.
He knew it, too. I mean, would a man who boasts, “I only do two things well, sweetheart, and skating’s the other one,” lie about his skills in the sack? That is the greatest bad boy line since Brando’s “Whaddaya got?” in The Wild One!
Also, Lorie `Sit Spin’ Peckarovski couldn’t fake that morning after glow. (“It’s a little early for practice, isn’t it?”) Dang, she was trashy.
The skating really sent us over the edge, didn’t it? The jumps, the twirls, the early 90s neon spandex, and of course, the mind blowing Pamchenko! (“Legano, no legano – ees gray ahrea”). There is a part of almost every lady who loves to curl up in front of her television every four years and watch prepubescent girls do things with their bodies on the ice that they themselves could not even do in their early twenties on the GROUND. And The Cutting Edge satisfied that part of us. Especially the training and spinning montages. (“Everybody move…everybody groove…keep on groovin’!)
Seriously, remember the Pamchenko? I still don’t know if that defied the laws of physics or what.
It gave us just enough but not too much
The Cutting Edge knew just how to tease us. It didn’t ruin the love affair by showing Doug and Kate racing back to the hotel to rip their clothes off. (Not that we wouldn’t have watched.) It didn’t show Kate’s narcissistic father or Doug’s bartending brother or the bearded Russian coach’s reactions to their innocent kiss on the ice. It didn’t even show Doug and Kate winning the gold medal (we just knew they DID though, with that Pamchenko!). No, it just built and built and built the tension and released it just enough with that lovely smooch in the middle of the arena under the bright white spotlights.
And then these magical last lines:
You didn’t have to do this.
Yes, I did.
Because, I love you.
Just remember who said it first.
Ah, yes…witty banter until the end. Love you, Kate and Doug!!! xoxoxo