Exclusive 'It Cuts Deep' clip has an awkward dinner conversation

Christmas vacation turns horrible in 'It Cuts Deep.'
Christmas vacation turns horrible in 'It Cuts Deep.' (Image credit: Dark Sky Films)

I know we like to think Christmas brings out the best in everyone, but Nicholas Santos' It Cuts Deep suggests otherwise. While on vacation, Sam (Charles Gould) and Ashley's (Quinn Jackson) relationship is put to the test when Nolan (John Anderson) attempts to steal Ashley. Two men pitted in holiday wargames, as Sam's trepidation over commitment and child-raising instincts cause Ashley to balk when imagining their future together. Nolan appears to be the answer in All-American form, unless Sam can thwart his old friend's mischievous Xmas plan to separate the two for good.

To give you a taste of the awkward situational humor of Sam's unaware exploits, Dark Sky Films has provided us with an exclusive dinner clip as Ashley mistakes  Sam's coughing fit for, well, take a look:

As you can see, Sam is attempting to convince Ashley he can be the husband and provider of her dreams (by cooking an inedible...um...cut of meat we'll guess). Unfortunately, his cooking is so terrible and dried-out, it causes the hapless worrier to half-choke into a pose that looks like some proposal ruse which slaps a beaming smile on Ashley's face - until Sam says, "No?" In a movie about one man's romantic dreams vanishing before his eyes, botching an accidental engagement ploy and doubling-down on insecurities seems like a bad omen. As you can assume, things only get more complicated and cringe-worthy from there.

This wince-a-minute brand of dark humor is led by Charles Gould, an up-and-coming comedian who recently released a stand-up special on Comedy Central in addition to recurring Jimmy Kimmel Live appearances. Meanwhile, he's up against the studly charms of John Anderson, who played Astronaut Mike Dexter in 30 Rock. Caught in between is Quinn Jackson, who must roll with Gould's sac-sack, almost unwatchable it's so offputting type of self-sabotage, which may not be for everyone. If you can stomach the above clip? You're off to a good start.

Dark Sky Films brought It Cuts Deep to theaters and video-on-demand platforms on November 13th, which means the title is available as of now for all of you pre-holiday movie seekers. Everyone needs a reminder about how dysfunctional anyone's lives can become around calendar milestones like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Nicholas Santos hopes to scratch that itch by torturing Sam through the aggression of competition, as chaos rattles another doomed vacation. If only Sam can find the introspection to combat his parental and familial fears which, hey, maybe he does? No spoilers here.

Matt Donato

Matt Donato is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic who stays up too late typing words for What To Watch, IGN, Paste, Bloody Disgusting, Fangoria and countless other publications. He is a member of Critics Choice and co-hosts a weekly livestream with Perri Nemiroff called the Merri Hour. You probably shouldn't feed him after midnight, just to be safe.