Right now, like all good people, I am totally obsessed with the Winter Olympics. The skiing, the figure skating, the bobsleds, the luge .. even that silly speed skating thing that they do. For the next two weeks, I’ll be loving all of it. Last night, I not only watched the Opening Ceremonies but I also watched two movies about figure skating: Ice Princess and The Cutting Edge: Fire and Ice!
The Cutting Edge: Fire and Ice tells the story of Alex Delgado (Francia Raisa) and James McKinsey (Brendan Fehr). Alex used to be a champion figure skater until her partner (both on the ice and in romance) retired. This led to Alex not only retiring but also breaking up with the man who she thought was the love of her life. Now, she spends her time teaching children how to skate and not going out on dates. Her mother worried about Alex. Not only is she throwing away her dreams but she also appears to be destined to be alone forever.
James was a champion speed skater, until his cocky attitude and his anger management programs got the better of him. After punching out one of his teammates, James is suspended from speed skating. However, James and his agent have a plan! What if James becomes a … figure skater!? He just needs a good coach and a great partner. The coach is easy to find. Zhen Zheng (Zhenhu Han) may not speak English but he loves a challenge and he travels with a translator (Russell Yuen).
But what about finding the right partner? No one wants to skate with James, especially since everyone assumes that this is all just a publicity stunt until he’s able to get his suspension overturned. When Alex is first approached about coming out of retirement and partnering up with James, she refuses. But then, she realizes that, even if she doesn’t like James, she loves to skate and she loves to compete…
It’s not a match made in heaven, for all of the usual PG-13 reasons. James is cocky and, instead of getting rest before practice, he goes to a party and then he has to skate with a hangover. Alex is determined and disciplined but she’s afraid to take chances. When James comes up with a spectacular move, Alex isn’t sure if they should do it or not. At first, it doesn’t seem like they’ll ever be able to work together but then, things change. Alex discovers that James loves children. James discovers that Alex can shoot pool. Add to that, they’re the best-looking people in the movie and that means that they’re destined to get together.
The Cutting Edge: Fire and Ice is a film that is all about montages. The film proves that you can learn anything in a montage. As long as the right music is playing in the background, you can go from being awkward on the ice to a championship skater in one montage. You can go from hating each other to being madly in love in montage. Any questions you may have about the film’s plot can be answered by a montage.
This movie was made for Freeform, back when it was still ABC Family. So, don’t expect anything too edgy. At one point, James and Alex play strip poker and are both in their underwear when Alex’s mom drops by. That’s about as wild as things get. That said, this was a sweet if predictable movie. Brendan Fehr and Francia Raisa had a lot of chemistry and the skating scenes were fun to watch. I liked the fact that Alex refused to put up with anyone’s crap and the film celebrated her for that. (Just compare this film to the original The Cutting Edge.) I also liked the fact that James and Alex initially bonded during a bar fight. Seriously, some of the greatest relationships in the world began with a brawl in a bar.
The Cutting Edge: Fire and Ice was a sweet, little movie. It won’t change the world but I enjoyed it.