Old Lady Movie Night Old Lady Movie Night: ‘The Cutting Edge' Anne T. Donahue

It was a cold day in January. Me, sleep deprived and slightly very broke, walked with full arms to the giant record store that bought old vinyl off anyone with a willingness to clean out their closet, and was more than excited to earn some cash-money by pawning off the records I’d bought and had never listened to. (I won’t name names, but mistakes were made.)

But that’s when I saw it.

There, like a glorious beacon beckoning me over, sat The Cutting Edge, a movie I’d waited eons to buy and could find exactly as easy as the Lord Of The Rings crew could walk into Morder. One simply did not. But I did. And despite promising myself to use any money earned to buy things like food and medicine (read: Immodium, science’s greatest gift), I paid those wonderful $5 and treated myself to the ultimate cinematic delight.

So here it is. The Cutting Edge, just in time for us to realize that winter has finally released its grip. But you know what I’ve learned? There’s always time for toe pick. And if you think that just because it’s not snowing we can’t watch a love story unfold throughout the Olympic race, you obviously did the Days And Confused piece I wrote over Christmas because it was cold and I wanted to pretend it was summer.

This is the way I think, guys. Join me.

1) AS IF you would be late for the Olympics, D.B.

I could bother to learn D.B. Sweeney’s character’s name, or I could call him D.B. Sweeney which is what I planned to do as soon as the first notes of the electric guitar began playing. BUT as if. AS IF YOU ARE LATE FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES. Imagine? What a terrible athlete! I don’t even think you can be late for a regular game, let alone a full-on OLYMPIC game that your coach would actually probably fire you for not attending. Athletes, confirm this.

2) THAT THEME

OH MY GOD, I want to join every sport right now immediately. Can you hear it? DA DAAAA DA DA DA DA DA DA DAAAAA. aka THE SOUND OF VICTORY. Can you do me a favour? If you can’t hear it (in your mind, where The Cutting Edge theme song should always be, ready to listen to in times of peril and/or achievements), Google it, play it and stand like it is your personal national anthem. AMEN FOREVER. God, this is exactly like Twister when the instrumental overture turned into Van Halen.

3) Moira Kelly!

AKA NALA from The Lion King AKA I-forgot-who-she-played-in-The West Wing. But I loved her! And still love her. The woman’s got sass. She’s got heart. She’s got a voice that is perfect for anyone who still cries when Simba returns from hanging out with Rafiki and he and Nala fall in love and he’s the king again and I’m running out of time because Kate (AKA Moira Kelly) is about to lose the Olympics ON PURPOSE.

4) We can’t judge her losing the Olympics on purpose, though

We just can’t. We’ve never been to the Olympics. Maybe if you’re a pro figure skater it’s really awful instead of awesome. I DON’T KNOW. I skate with my ankles turned in and I look like a baby deer learning to walk EVERY TIME I strap on skates. I tried roller blading once and I wore them with jeans, and I sweat too much and it was terrible. So if that’s any inclination of how professional figure skating is, I might throw the Olympics too. But I could be wrong. If there was an Olympics for writing about movies though, COUNT ME IN. I would not throw those, I will tell you that much for free.

5) Out of everyone in the world, why did D.B. Sweeney get scouted for this figure skating gig?

Out of EVERYONE, The Coach (who is what I will name him) chose him? Like, was there nobody else in the world? (LITERALLY in the world because that is how sports work.) I’m guessing not? “Hey, why don’t we teach this hockey player to skate” is what The Coach thought instead of thinking, “OR I could go to any other country and find someone else in the industry who is willing to take this type of verbal abuse from Kate ‘MOIRA’ Kelly.” This is exactly like that Canadian show, Something-About-The-Ice (I could Google, or I could not) where hockey players actually do learn how to figure skate. I’ve never seen it, but I will pretend and hope there is some sort of shout-out to The Cutting Edge, my moral and personal compass.

6) Kate is hostile beyond all hostility

Do we know why she is so angry? Is it because she hates figure skating? I feel like she’s kind of like Julia Stiles in 10 Things I Hate About You but with no actual reason. I mean, yeah, her boyfriend lives far away and she’s being forced into figure skating, but when you think about teen idols being forced into crafts that they’d rather die than be in (I’m looking at YOU, Maureen from Center Stage), at least they’re usually NICE. Simmer down, Kate, you have great hair – use it.

7) TOE PICK!

I still don’t actually know what she means. Is he supposed to put it in the ice? Asking for a friend.

8 ) I’m an only child too

So NEWFLASH: Kate is an only child. And let the record state that if I ever asked like Kate, my parents would have disowned me and given me to another family. She is the worst! (And I love Kate for real, obviously.) Basically this whole point is just a disclaimer saying that you are not necessarily the devil if you are an only child. In fact, some of you (hi!) may not have known what “spoiled” meant growing up because there was no way your Lithuanian mom and Irish dad would let you have a tantrum ever, especially in public.

9) Their banter rules

IT RULES. That’s all.

10) MONTAGE!

I don’t think any of us really give enough credit when it comes to montages (KIDDING you guys, I think all of us seriously belong to the Ultimate Montage Club.com), so it’s important to have a moment of silence actually soundtracked by this hip ’90s dance song that accompanies the “D.B. Sweeney learning how to be a figure skater” scene(s). You know that Full House episode where Stephanie Tanner does that routine where she’s wearing a hat and its bedazzled? It’s that song, I think.

11) Remember when Kate hits D.B. Sweeney in the face with a puck?

And then The Coach is like, “It’s not guilt – it’s fear.” And I’m like, “you sound like my Grandpa!” (And then my Grandpa reads this and is like, “I’m not Russian” and I immediately feel bad for comparing Eastern European accents out of sheer laziness.)

12) MONTAGE II!

Okay, I think we all know that the last thing I ever want to do is waste time covering a topic more than once, but remember when that “Gotta Get Up” song plays (from the trailer!!!) when they’re working out and you KNOW the director’s like “Close up on Moira’s biceps!” and “D.B. Sweeney’s doing pushups – capture it!” while newer and newer workout outfits are debuting and it’s beautiful and Olivia Newton John is somewhere else going, “I started this!” That time? Because I want nothing more to be a figure skating during those two minutes (and the rest of this movie’s hour and 40 minutes).

13) And then Kate’s combing her hair topless in front of the window…?

And then D.B. Sweeney kind of barges in, and it’s like, “Okay, so the director obviously wanted to create some sort of sexual tension and I guess this is how he chose to do it.” Personally, I think falling down on the ice all dramatic-like would’ve worked better, but what do I know, I am not Paul M. Glaser, director of The Cutting Edge.

14) They absolutely suck at getting each other Christmas gifts

You know that rule, “Don’t buy someone a Christmas gift that you would like if they hate what you like?” Nobody told Kate or D.B. Sweeney about that rule. And yes, it’s super-cute that you gave Kate your prized Bobby Hull sweater, but she doesn’t care about Bobby Hull so maybe give her something else? Maybe like, a book about figure skating or find something rare that has to do with figure skating? And also, Kate why would you give the person who doesn’t read the book Great Expectations? Like, most of us who love reading don’t even want Great Expectations. Maybe a bestseller instead? A top 40? A book about hockey? Just the worst gifts all around. Well done, you two.

15) Kate’s fiancee is the Lame King

He’s a nice, guy, sure, but we’ve got Lenny Kravitz blaring in the background and he is exactly as interesting as the empty water bottle sitting next to me. SNORE, Kate. You can do better! You can get D.B. Sweeney, after all! OH AND NOW IT’S THE NEW YEAR’S COUNTDOWN SCENE, AND THEY ARE GOING TO KISS AWKWARDLY. (Also, shout-out to D.B. Sweeney who kisses LITERALLY every woman in the room like the ship’s sinking. You are not afraid of getting the flu during flu season, AT ALL, and that is to be commended and maybe even respected.) (Actually now all of these people are kissing all of these people, and it’s like, maybe they actually all put their keys in a bowl…? I don’t know. I don’t know much about these people. Just that they really like to kiss everyone in sight all the time.)

16) Who would laugh at someone professionally figure skating?

Listen. I from the town D.B. Sweeney’s character’s basically from (not really – I live in Canada), but I can 100% guarantee that NOBODY WOULD make fun of ANYONE who figure skated professionally. Why? Because it’s hard! IT IS SO HARD TO STAND ON SKATES LET ALONE BE GOOD AT FIGURE SKATING. I do love that D.B. Sweeney basically has to “come out” about it, though: “I figure skate, and I like it, okay? I like it!” Behold: the conversation that nobody would ever have. It’s figure skating, everyone! A sport that’s really, really difficult!

17) And then Kate’s fiancee announces they’re engaged at the table like a freak

WHO ANNOUNCES IT THAT WAY. I hate him, I think. Boring! Boring and rude! Also, Kate, why didn’t you say anything? Imagine finding out the person you liked was engaged that way. You know how you’d feel? EXACTLY like this very sad song currently playing while Kate skates alone in a snowstorm in her indoor rink. There’s a keyboard and a very high voice, so congratulations everyone, you have achieved melodic greatness in 1992. And emotion. Straight-up emotion.

18) LOL at how Kate’s fiancee is just like, “You like D.B. Sweeney”

And then it’s over. It’s just over! Hal, man. WHAT. A. GUY. Clearly the most passionate man.

19) The racing car song!

Okay, so I have no idea what this song is even about or why it exists, but WHAT A TRACK. You know that movie For Richer Or Poorer? It also exists there! I think we all just need to appreciate that at some point, a composer was like, “I have an idea.” And then he or she went into a room, and he wrote this, and he was like, “MAKE SURE THE RACING CAR SOUNDS MAKE IT INTO THIS SONG.” And then they do. And they WIN BECAUSE OF IT.

20) So then Kate drinks for the first time by taking 29525825 shots of tequila

Oh boy. This is the wrong way to do anything. Also, what are you thinking, D.B. Sweeney, taking Kate, who has never drank before, to a bar where they only sell tequila apparently? Maybe start witha glass of house red? A cooler? A beer? But no, you go shot for shot and then she embarrasses herself kind of, and you hook up with that red-headed lady? WHAT IS THAT EVEN ABOUT. The first time I saw this all I could think of was, “But why would he hook up with that other lady?” (That was last week.) (Kidding.) But why would he? I mean, just give Kate some water and then make sure she doesn’t have alcohol poisoning.

Sidenote: And then he gets offended at what she says drunk? At the person who never gets drunk? D.B., just dismiss everything she says and go read Great Expectations and then await the inevitable “I’m so sorry” conversation the next morning. (That we have all had at some point in our lives, I’m pretty sure.)

20) b) And then he gets drunk alone in his room?

WHY. Also, exactly, Kate.

21) I always feel so sad when Kate keeps failing during that weird hard move

I mean, how much does that probably hurt? And what’s it called? Wait, don’t tell me. I like calling it That Hard Move. THM. “Are they going to get it?” asks Kate’s Dad. “Eventually!” shouts The Coach. “Before they kill each other?” comes the response. “PERFECT!” screams the director. “THIS IS THE PART THAT WILL MAKE THE TRAILER.” (Do not Google the trailer in case I am wrong. Because if I am wrong, it means the director was actually wrong not to include it.)

22) DON’T QUIT, KATE!

Is what I think EVERY TIME. Don’t do it! Don’t quit! You love each other! You love THM! You love bickering! EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL AND IT DOESN’T NEED TO BE THIS WAY. (Also, on a sidenote, I have this entire “I’m sorry – I’m so sorry” speech memorized and I wait for the day where I can really deliver it.) Quick, let’s remember when D.B. Sweeney throws up so we can have a good laugh about something:

Okay, I feel better about everything now.

23) But honestly, could you take longer saying “I love you,” D.B. Sweeney?!

I mean, FIRST he doesn’t say it when she’s like “I’m retiring” and then he just waits. And waits. AND WAITS until they’re about to take the ice and even then it is ALL HE CAN DO to say the words. And it’s like, THERE’S NO TIME WE HAVE NO TIME THERE’S NEVER ANY TIME and then I turn into Jesse Spano with the caffeine pills but only D.B. Sweeney can save me because he just needs to SPIT THOSE WORDS OUT.

UGH, EXACTLY, KATE. My sentiments exactly.

24) The routine!

It’s a scientific fact that the only routine in the history of the world that beats this routine is Monica and Ross’ routine from that Friends episode, “The One With The Routine.” And then the theme song happens and then . . .

25) THAT MOVE!

THE PRECKHENO and/or PETRENKO and/or PORENKO and/or SOMETHING ELSE WHO CARES IT’S THM! “The difference is, I’m in a mood to kick a little ass!” SO AM I, KATE. And now the theme song is on and it is time for me to figure skate my way out of this article and into my imagination where I am a gold medal-winning figure skater and we are all Kates and/or D.B.s and we all love each other and here comes the electric guitar ballad!

TOE PICK, INDEED.

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  1. OMG – you have solved a decade old mystery for me. I remember watching and adoring this movie as a child but couldn’t remember the name. I can’t wait to watch it again!!

  2. Doesn’t she keep saying toe pick because he’s not used to them from wearing hockey skates? Hockey skates don’t have toepicks.

  3. Mandy, on the West Wing ;) Love Moira Kelly too!

  4. my sisters and cousins and I used to watch this over and over and over… another favorite? ” can’t buy me love”- dr mcdreamy before grey’s action! i’m sharing this article w/ all my girls :) thanks!

  5. Absolutely love the way you write!:)
    And I have to say that there are some things that I also said when I first watched the cutting edge!
    It would be great if you did something like this for the Notebook!:D

    • Thank you so much! AND YES. I think that movie’s long overdue. Consider it done! xo

      Anne T. Donahue | 4/12/2012 06:04 am
  6. This is my happy movie!

  7. Wait! You didn’t say anything about D.B. smelling the ice!

  8. YES!!! You captured it perfectly. This movie has been a guilty secret of mine ever since I caught it on Showtime and watched it every time it was on. And then taped it. And then watched it more. Excuse me, I have to visit my Netflix queue.