In the Cut (DVD) Review
Meg Ryan epitomized Hollywood’s 1980s and ’90s American sweetheart image. As one of Hollywood’s leading ladies in romantic comedies, she charmed countless hopeless romantics. Starring in films such as Top Gun, Promised Land and As the World Turns – among many others – Meg made her breakthrough performance as Sally Albright in 1989 blockbuster When Harry Met Sally which earned her her maiden Golden Globe nomination and set off an extensive career arc for Meg Ryan.
Ryan was a prolific box office performer throughout the ’90s. Her films like Sleepless in Seattle, French Kiss, Addicted to Love and City of Angels garnered multiple Golden Globe nominations as well as numerous critical acclaims. Reunited with co-star Tom Hanks for You’ve Got Mail earned another nod and further cemented her place as queen of romantic comedies.
At the turn of the millennium, Ryan made attempts at more dramatic roles with In the Cut and Against the Ropes; both films proved unpopular with critics and audiences, prompting her to spend more time away from public view to focus on her family life.
Jane Campion (The Piano) has created a vivid and hypersexual thriller in In the Cut that is designed to provoke shock. College English teacher Frannie Avery becomes a target for Homicide Detective Malloy after witnessing serial killings committed by serial killer, while falling in love with him despite knowing the potential risks involved with their relationship and striving to control her sexual desires.
Unfortunately, In the Cut doesn’t live up to Mark Ruffalo and Campion’s high hopes in depicting men and women with complexity as explored more effectively in previous works by Ryan in her role of Frannie; her lack of charisma leaves it duller rather than riveting than it could otherwise have been. Her struggle against sexual temptation becomes tiresome rather than captivating.
Given her less-than-stellar performance in In the Cut, Ryan’s reputation was severely dented and fans lost faith in her acting abilities. Additionally, viewers did not appreciate its sleazy and gratuitous themes either – leading to much disappointment by audiences in viewing it and becoming disenchanted with what turned out to be nothing more than an unintended sexfest despite all efforts of its cast and crew.