Released in 1992 and directed by Paul M. Glaser, The Cutting Edge tells the story of former professional hockey player Doug Dorsey (D. B. Sweeney) finding himself hired to pair with figure skating Kate Moseley (Moira Kelly). They both competed and didn’t succeed in 1988 Calgary Olympics and still want to be Olympic champions one day. Figure skating together is their last chance.
I love how this movie shows the hard work at play for the competition and how difficult it is for both of them to team up. Doug was no figure skater and Kate went through many partners, never finding a good fit. They both have strong personalities and this is also one of the reasons the character of their Russian coach, Anton Pamchenko (Roy Doytrice) is so crucial. He is the voice of reason and also of diplomacy between them.
I grew up watching a lot of ice skating on TV and this movie was a favorite of mine since I first saw it a couple of years after it came out. I like the atmosphere in it, and the fact the romance isn’t the main focus in my view, but more the hard work and partnership that needs to happen for the two characters to reach their goal together, is something important to me. I love the chemistry between the lead couple and I like that it takes them months or even a year, to build partnership and friendship before they eventually get together is something I value.
They are both well layered characters. One thing I also like in the movie is how they don’t spend the night together after the celebration that they’re going to compete in the Olympics. It could have been an easy move, but I like that Doug takes her back to her room as she is drunk, but doesn’t carry on as she throws herself at him. The fact that he respects her and their bond and walks away is great. Yes, I know that he ends sleeping with the other American female skater, but I much prefer that and that Kate gets annoyed with him, than if they had got all over each other in a haze of alcohol after the big news.
Watching both these characters have to get on with their life and learn new things and dynamics as to achieve their dream is always an inspiration to me. Neither of them is perfect but their hard work eventually pays, as much for the Olympics as for their friendship turning into more. Everything takes time and I find that this movie shows it well.