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Posts Tagged ‘The Cutting Edge’

The last thing this world needs is another Cutting Edge sequel

Posted on March 19th, 2010 by annakjarzab

Hey kids! I’m coming out of my blogbernation (they can’t all be winners!) to talk to you about a cause near and dear to my heart. What is it? Well I’ll tell you.

thecuttingedge3chasingthedream

The terrifying proliferation of Cutting Edge movies.

Like all little girls who grew up mostly in the 90s, I LOVE The Cutting Edge. As I was explaining to my friend last night, it’s a great example of a movie knowing the exact limits of its genre and doing the best possible with what it has to work with. It’s a romantic comedy, yes, so we’re not going to see a huge deviation from the basic romcom plot, but it allows them to do a lot with the characters, which I find awesome. You see (and maybe I’m thinking about this too much because I’ve seen this movie four hundred times or whatever), Kate is more than just an “ice princess” (UGH worst)–you can totally see how she got to be the bitch she is. Her mother, a figure skater of one assumes champion abilities, dies when she is very young. To make sure that her father, who is a sort of disinterested business man, keeps paying attention to her, she tries to be as much like her mother as possible–thus, figure skating. The better she gets, the more she’s rewarded by her father’s attention and focus, so she tries harder and harder and becomes, well, a champion. Okay, great. Except figure skating makes her tragically unhappy and lonely (which is my theory as to why she is a pairs skater, even though she never actually gets along with her partners). But she’s afraid to quit because she thinks that her father won’t love her if she’s not a figure skater anymore. Well, maybe she needs a boyf or something. So she starts dating Hale, who is 100% Daddy approved, and also never around, so she doesn’t have to deal with the fact that she actually doesn’t love him or really want to be with him. Awesome. So naturally she’s totally bitchy and repressed, because she’s miserable and has painted herself into a corner with her life choices, and she knows it, but she doesn’t know what to do about it.

Then there’s Doug. He got his dream smashed out of him by some other hockey player and now he’s relegated to working in a factory in Deluth. He doesn’t appear to have parents, and his only support comes from his brother who is really invested in his Olympic future. Doug’s depressed and also lonely, because the thing that got him the adoration of everyone he ever came into contact with has suddenly disappeared like a wisp of smoke, no matter how many girls he gets into bed. When he meets Kate, obviously he’s furious by how spoiled and ridiculous she acts. Like she’s ever had one ounce of difficulty in her whole comfy Greenwich, CT life. But finally he finds he has some sort of purpose again, so he puts up with it. The more he learns about her and what has made her who she is, and the real person she is, the more he cares about her and invests in their partnership, and vice versa. This is awesome, and The Cutting Edge tells that story well for what it is.

Okay, so then you have The Cutting Edge 2: Going for the Gold starring Christy Effing Carlson Effing Romano. WHY WHY WHY?! If they had to turn this movie into a franchise (WHICH THEY DIDN’T), WHY did they cast her? She’s so unattractive, and I don’t mean that in a cruel, superficial way, I mean it in the sense that she is generally unfun to watch on screen and very unpleasant looking, especially because Jackie’s a total bitch. EXCEPT! She’s not a very good actress, and her character, Kate and Doug’s kid Jackie, HAS NO REASON TO BE THAT WAY. She’s got two loving parents (so poorly cast, by the way) who tell her repeatedly that as soon as this stops being her dream she should quit because nothing is worse than wasting your life just to fulfill other people’s dreams (especially since, yo, Doug and Kate already have a gold medal so what do they care). She’s got a very cushy life (again in CT, where all the royals live) and apparently is very attractive to the mens, although God help me I don’t see it. If skating makes you miserable, why do it? Thus my theory that they just made her mean because that’s the formula for these movies now. They didn’t even think about why the character might be that way, other than she’s just naturally rude and awful, in which case why should I care about her at all?

Also, her love interest (I don’t remember his name–oh, Alex! We’ll get to that in a second), is so worthless. I mean, he is pretty, but AN IN-LINE SKATER?! This movie came out in 2006–I checked!–and it appears to take place in 1996. It is in many ways more dated than The Cutting Edge, which actually did take place in like 1994. There is in-line skating and Kate wears a seriously hideous coat throughout. And I’m sorry, I know I shouldn’t be holding a made-for-TV movie to any standards of depth or realism, but just because you’re a good rollerblader, does that really make it possible for you to learn how to figure skate at a competitive level in three months? Especially if the only instruction you have seems to come from a gaggle of six-year-old girls? And that qualifies you to be the partner of an Olympic level skater? Even her mother, who is a notoriously tough to please actual Olympic gold medal winner and now her only daughter’s coach, is taken in by this? Wow, Kate really mellowed out in middle age. NO WAY! That would not happen. The entire premise is void. The only thing that makes this movie tolerable for five seconds is, of course, the brief appearance of my favorite fave, Ryan Hansen, who played Dick Casablancas on Veronica Mars.

SPOILER: At the end they tell each other they love each other. Yeah right. I hated this movie.

Okay, so then I started watching The Cutting Edge 3: Chasing the Dream. I guess I forgot to mention that I DVRed all the Cutting Edge movies this weekend when they played back to back on ABC Family. Anyway, I only watched about 30 minutes of The Cutting Edge 3, but at first glance it is an improvement over The Cutting Edge 2, mostly because of this guy:

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Is he or is he not painfully gorgeous? I mean, seriously model hot. He’s a little hard to look at, though, like washing your eyeballs out with diamonds. Anyway, I thought the premise of this movie was a little more original. He’s a famous playboy figure skater who, as far as the media goes, is dating his equally good looking partner, even though they broke up a long time ago and she still is in love with him (she’s very sweet) but he’s sleeping around. Fine, great, Logan Echolls-type. But he’s “dangerous” which means possibly he goes a little too fast on the ice while carrying another human being, because he drops his partner and she fractures her ankle, which means two months in a cast and four months of rehab. So they (meaning him and his partner and their coach) try to find him another partner…although I have no idea why. Just so they can throw her away when Celeste decides she’s ready to get back on the ice? Sounds kind of obnox to me. So he has this ridiculous breakdance fight-like scrimmage with a bunch of Hispanic hockey players and he realizes that there’s only one of them who can match his fancy footwork–and she’s a girl! So he tries to get her to be his partner. That’s where I stopped, but I looked it up on Wikipedia and it turns out that Ren Stevens comes back! To coach these chuckleheads. Thank God I didn’t get that far. Anyway, he falls in love with this girl, but confusingly she is in The Cutting Edge 4: Fire and Ice, which I haven’t watched, with a different guy, so…they break up? THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN IN THE CUTTING EDGE WORLD. NOBODY BREAKS UP. Also, the guy in The Cutting Edge 4 is a speed skater (pardon my ignorance, but are all types of skating sort of interchangeable? I didn’t think so, but apparently I’m wrong), and he’s played by that guy who plays Booth’s brother in Bones, so while I’m happy to see him, I’m aware that he’s like 35 or something. And also, the girl’s name in the last two Cutting Edge films is Alex. That’s three Alexes in four films. Sloppy, just plain sloppy.

Anyway, my opinion of this franchise is a big frownie face. I need to write ABC Family a strongly worded letter about perverting my childhood favorites. Like, The Labyrinth doesn’t need a sequel, either. Ugh.