Somehow, even after 18 years, people are still uncomfortable with the iconic same-sex kiss between Sarah Michelle Gellar (Kathryn Merteuil) and Selma Blair (Cecile Caldwell) in the racy 1999 drama Cruel Intentions. E!’s broadcast of the movie on Saturday night left fans disappointed after they cut the controversial smooch.
That same-sex kiss was the most iconic moment in the movie, and perhaps in many of its fans’ memories. When it aired, fans of the three normally wholesome leading ladies (Gellar, Blair, and Reese Witherspoon) were shocked. The movie discussed sex, betrayal, and even a bit of incest since Gellar and Ryan Phillippe’s characters were step-siblings.
Cruel Intentions Sanitized By E!
The version of Cruel Intentions shown on Saturday was supposedly the “sanitized” version the network had years ago. Why they would need to take out the most iconic and probably telling piece of scene from the movie makes us wonder, though.
E! refused to comment on their decision to air this sanitized version. You know, of course, that this is the same network that airs such progressive programming as I Am Cait. It’s pretty ironic that a lesbian kiss can turn them into discriminating hypocrites all of a sudden.
A network insider, however, told TVLine that the version that was aired on Saturday night was an “older” one. Apparently, E! failed to review the practices and standards of the movie, and simply aired it without taking a look?
That same source assured fans that the network will likely do a more “contemporary edit” of the film should it decide to air it once more. Considering that this year marks the 18th year since the movie’s release, it’s sad to note that we are still awkwardly trapezing the morality line of this kiss.
Cruel Intentions Was Culturally Relevant, A Favorite Among 1990s Teens
Personally, Cruel Intentions was one of my most favorite films out of all teen movies of the 1990s. It lacks the sappy sentiments of movies that star Gellar’s better half, Freddie Prinze Jr. It’s not a slasher thriller, too, like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream.
Instead, the movie, which is an adaptation of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, tells the tale of step-siblings Kathryn and Sebastian. Set in modern 1990s New York, the two lived affluently in Manhattan while attending a private school.
Kathryn wagered for Sebastian to turn naïve Cecile into a tramp because of her ex-boyfriend’s interest on Cecile. Sebastian balked at the idea, choosing to focus instead on the virginal Annette Hargrove. But soon, Sebastian agreed to Kathryn’s plan, and wrote about his conquests on his journal.
In the end, like many typical romantic teen dramas, Sebastian fell for Annette and fought against Kathryn’s bullying. Cruel Intentions is not really just about the same-sex kiss. It touches on teenage sentimentality and cruelty borne out of the need to be liked and to conform to standards.