Plot: Doug (D.B. Sweeney) and Kate (Moira Kelly) are both world class athletes, but they couldn’t much more different, though both are fiery competitors who have been unable to achieve success on the grandest stage, the Olympics. Doug suffered a career ending vision impairment, while Kate’s poor attitude and lack of cohesion with her skate partner cost her the gold medal. While Doug has gone back to a normal job, Kate has burned through countless potential new partners and at this point, has no more viable options left. But her coach has a wild idea, to reach out to Doug and see if his skills as a skater can transition from hockey to figure skating. The two clash from the start, as she is refined and sarcastic, while he is rough and blunt, but they soon realize that they need each other if they want one last shot at the gold. But can these two survive each other long enough to make it back to the top?
Entertainment Value: I am not a big romantic comedy fan, but I do appreciate some of the genre’s efforts, such as The Cutting Edge. This early 90s movie has all the usual genre elements and is quite predictable, but I just think it is a fun narrative and the leads have some terrific banter. There’s no meet cute, just two elite level athletes who have to work together if they want a shot at the top, so it does avoid some of the tropes, but it settles into the usual cadence soon enough. The humor follows the formula, but it is still sharp and feels character driven, instead of random, cute jokes thrown around. I also like how the romance slow burns with some false starts, giving us a bumpy ride the whole time, instead of smooth sailing with one or two detours. As fun as the dialogue is, it needed two leads to make the most of it, as the back and forth banter is what pushes the movie and has to land. Moira Kelly and D.B. Sweeney nail the roles, especially Kelly, who shines as the bratty princess, while Sweeney has a less demanding, but still important role to pull off here. While it has more attitude than the usual romcom, The Cutting Edge is still entrenched in the genre’s conventions, but even if you don’t normally love the genre, this one is worth a shot.
No nakedness. This one has no sex scenes, as all the love happens behind closed doors, which fits with the nature of the material. This one is more about the personal dynamics and development of the relationship, not a rush into the bedroom, so the lack of sleaze makes sense. No blood. As there’s no violence here besides some wipeouts on the ice, the lack of bloodshed is not an issue. The dialogue here is a lot of fun, as these aren’t the sweet, saccharine romcom archetypes, but smart ass, sarcastic agitators who constantly banter with each other. This shift in attitude helps the movie feel fresh and stand out, but the passion is still evident, as the two have obvious chemistry, it just comes out in a less traditional manner. I don’t mean a fun line here and there, but a consistent stream of effective, quotable dialogue. Some of the lines come from the supporting cast, but for the most part, the leads carry the good times here. This one does have a little more bite than most in the genre, so the sarcastic banter earns one point, but otherwise it stays within the genre conventions.
Overall Insanity: 1/10