It’s Winter Olympics time, which means the enormous height of the ski jumps, the enormous spins of the free skate and the enormous thighs of the speed skate. Also biathlon and curling, the official sports of “wait, this is a sport? How is this a sport? Might as well watch it. THIS IS FANTASTIC, GO GO GO!!!!”
Here are six movies to get you into the Olympic spirit:
1. “Cool Runnings” (1993)
Look, I didn’t say they were CLASSICS, I said they existed. Based very loosely on the real life feel-good story of the Jamiacan bobsled team, this flick features the late, great John Candy, a really mean portrayal of the Swiss (since we really don’t have the East Germans as official Olympic badguys anymore) and a totally dope slow clap.
2. “Miracle” (2004)
A feature-ization of the most famous American Winter Olympics story there is, the 1980 defeat of the defending gold-medalists the Soviet Union (who had won five of the previous six times) by the hosting United States in Lake Placid. Kurt Russell stars as head coach Herb Brooks. Director Gavin O’Connor is currently working up a sequel to the financially successful yet aesthetically appalling DC Comics movie “Suicide Squad.”
3. “The Cutting Edge” (1992)
Doug (D.B. Sweeney) is the working class hockey star. Kate (Moira Kelly) is the impossibly high strung rich girl figure skater. Through circumstances that rate pretty high on the contrived-plot-o-meter, they end up figure skating partners. Romance ensues. Written by Tony Gilroy, of all people, who also wrote the Bourne movies and wrote and directed the still-terrific “Michael Clayton.”
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4. “Eddie the Eagle” (2016)
Remember this guy? Hugh Jackman, Jim Broadbent and Christopher Walken, along with Taron “Kingsman” Egerton as the titular ski jumper, a gent namedMichael Edwards who in 1988 at became the first competitor since 1928 to represent dear old Blighty (uh, Great Britain) in Olympic ski jumping. Spoiler: He came in dead last, but everyone thought he was cool for trying.
5. “Blades of Glory” (2007)
This one is sort of Olympic adjacent. Will Ferrell and Joon Heder play rival mens figure skaters who manage to get themselves banned from singles competition only to come back to the sport as as a pair. Absurd and hilarious in a very Will Ferrell fashion, “Blades of Glory” has a very tiny cult within the Ferrell cult. With Will Arnett and Amy Poelher, back when they were still married (sniff) as a rival team.
6. “The Other Side of the Mountain” (1975)
Did you like “Love Story” but think it could use more skiing? Check out this weeper starring Marilyn Hassett and Beau Bridges, the based-on-a-true-story of ski champion Jill Kinmont, a national champion in slalom, and a top U.S. prospect for a medal in the 1956 Winter Olympics when she was paralyzed in a near-fatal downhill accident in ‘55, weeks before her 19th birthday, leaving her quadriplegic.