A Fine Romance Friday: The Cutting Edge

So a giant blizzard is about to bury the east coast, specifically Washington, DC. Well, if you’re looking for something steamy set in the Capitol, I have some ideas. You can’t read all the time–okay, you can, but you might not want to–so what should you watch between books and cocoa?

The clear answer is Paul Michael Glaser’s romantic comedy The Cutting Edge (1992).

If somehow you haven’t seen it, it’s essentially an updated version of The Taming of the Shrew set against the backdrop of pairs figure skating. Our shrew is Kate (Moira Kelly), a spoiled and notoriously difficult skater who lost her latest partner 18 months before the Olympics. She needs a new one or else she won’t be able to make a play for the medal she came so close to winning the last time. The only problem is that no one will skate with her.

Enter our Petruchio, Doug (DB Sweeney), a hockey player whose career was cut short by an injury. Skating with Kate not only brings him a healthy paycheck by way of her wealthy dad but is also his last shot to get of his dead-end job at his brother’s bar.

What follows is completely predictably and utterly charming. Kate and Doug are enemies, then they’re friends, and finally lovers, all the while trying to perfect an impossible skating move.

It’s the rare winter romance that comes with scarcely any holiday trimmings (they exchange Christmas gifts and there’s a brief New Year’s scene). But more seriously, I would argue that it’s the first New Adult romance, and it may still be the most influential entry. It includes, fully formed, most of the tropes we still see in the subgenre, including the protagonists’ tragic backstory (Kate’s mother’s death, Doug’s injury), drama with the parents/the struggle for independence, banter, tension, angst, and sports.

The Cutting Edge just about the perfect movie for a snowpocalypse–anytime of year.

2 thoughts on “A Fine Romance Friday: The Cutting Edge

    1. I retract that it’s the first (because The Ice Castles would qualify too, I guess), but I will maintain that The Cutting Edge is the most influential early NA. ; )

      Happy snowpocalypse!!

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