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Wendy, Veda, and J.C. are part of Southern California's thriving figure skating community - the bottom part. Luckily this is America, the land of opportunity, where a dream in your heart and personal gain in your sights can propel almost anyone to stardom. With this in mind Wendy, Veda, and J.C. are fighting their way to Olympic glory. But first they have to win the Regional Competition - and there can only be ONE winner. Will it be Veda? The beautiful ice princess who responds to her over-bearing mother by routinely puking up her lunch. Or Wendy? The plus-size skater with the super-plus libido. And what about J.C.? The orphaned trailer park girl who'd gladly trade you a pack of smokes for a sequined thong. Under the watchful gaze of Zamboni Phil, the girls train, toil and plot their way to success. Let the Games begin! Written by
I love figure skating. It's my favorite Olympic sport and Lord knows it has it's eccentric, bizarre side which is why it was ripe for a mock documentary like this. However, director Slovin (who also co-wrote the screenplay) is no Christopher Guest. What Guest did to community theater (Waiting for Guffman), dog shows (Best in Show), and country music (A Mighty Wind) is inspired lunacy. One can only wish that he'd taken on this subject as well. Slovin is simply not up to the task. Not by a long shot!
The over-the-top writing is only intermittently funny. The direction is slow and clunky! A lot of the jokes are forced. Most of it is downright stupid. The reason Guest succeeds in his mockumentaries is because he takes the original subject matter very seriously. His players and situations are very true to life. That's what makes them funny. The characters in "On Edge" are not so skillfully veiled tropes of real people like Tonya Harding, Nancy Kerrigan and Michelle Kwan. They are not conceived properly and in the end simply become annoying and unreal. It doesn't help that the three female leads cannot do anything with the material. The idea of an ebullient, overweight skater may work for a five minute Saturday Night Live skit, but over the course of 90 minutes it strains the reality of a real or fake documentary. There aren't any people like this. A 250 pound skater could never do a triple jump. So instead of poking fun at the real world of skating, Slovin invents fantasies to satirize, weakening the entire movie as a result. The movie actually reminded me of another mockumentary "Drop Dead Gorgeous" about a regional beauty queen contest. The difference is that in that movie the girls competing are totally believable. It's hilarious! The female figure skaters in "On Edge" are not.
Jason Alexander gives one of the worst performances of his career. He is embarrassingly dull. He adds little to the movie. And why would a documentary film maker spend so much time with a Zamboni driver in the first place! He should have been smart and passed on the movie. Chris Hogan as the documentary film maker is square in delivery and hopelessly miscast. You don't believe he's a film maker at all! It would have been better to have the character an unseen person behind the scenes. John Glover has a few funny moments as an over the hill Russian skater but the barely acceptable accent wears out its welcome fast. And ice skating legend Scott Hamilton delivers a horrid, unfunny, overly broad, embarrassing performance as a prissy, chain smoking, yellow toothed, bad hair day skating judge. You wonder what he got paid to debase the sport this badly. Adding insult to injury, other skating legends like Kristi Yamaguchi, Robin Cousins, Peter Caruthers, Randy Gardner and Ty Babilonia appear as competition judges. Did none of them realize how bad this movie was.
Well, the studio did. They sent it right to video. And if you see it in the video store, spare yourself. If you must have a figure skating movie, try "The Cutting Edge"! That at least honors the sport!
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