301. Two of a Kind

Movie: Two of a Kind

Release Date: December 16, 1983

Director: John Herzfeld

Starring: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Oliver Reed, Beatrice Straight, Scatman Crothers, Charles Durning.

Tag Lines: “It took a twist of fate to make them two of a kind.”

“Together for the first time since ‘GREASE'”

“A match re-made in Heaven.”

Relevance: If ‘Flash Gordon’ (see 318. Flash Gordon) is the best worst movie of all time, ‘Two of a Kind’ is the second best worst movie of all time. Or is it the best second worst movie of all time? It’s all semantics. You get my drift. The reunion of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John on film was a big marketing ploy and selling point for the movie. Based on its critical reviews and box office performance, one might say it was not successful.

I didn’t see ‘Two of a Kind’ until its initial run on HBO. My mom, being a big ‘Grease’ and Olivia Newton-John fan, was very excited to see the movie. So when it had its big HBO premiere, we were all propped up in front of the television, probably with some snacks, ready to be entertained. We were. Or at least I was. The movie is a fantasy with elements of screwball comedy mixed in which if you have been following this blog are not my mom’s favorite genres. Her review of the movie was, “It was ok. It got better near the end. I like the actors. It was no ‘Grease.'” I’m paraphrasing of course, but her general consensus was “meh.” I on the other hand loved it.

The plot is absurd and silly. Basically, God, upset with people on Earth, wants to cause another flood and start fresh. Four angels convince him to hold off to see if one human, John Travolta, can reform and show love and compassion. If one man can do it, all humans are capable of it. Chaos ensues. That chaos throughout the movie includes freeze frames, fast forwarding, rewinding of the film, food fights, bank robberies, gun shots, the devil singing and dancing and edible sunglasses. Total silliness. But this thirteen year old kid absolutely adored that silliness. And every time the movie played, I watched it.

It didn’t hurt that I may have had a small crush on Olivia Newton-John. I was always singing and dancing around the house to her music. “Physical,” songs from ‘Grease’ and “Twist of Fate,” which was the song from the movie that became a top five hit on the Billboard charts, were constants in our house. She, and her music, simply made me happy. But I also really loved the weird plot to the film. And, like my mom said, it gets better at the end. If you happen to make it to the climax, there is actually a great message to be shared.

I can’t tell you how many times I watched the movie on HBO, but it had to have been in the hundreds. I consider myself to be an Olivia Newton-John fan to this day and she will be popping up here on this list two more times this year.

Today’s Thoughts: Let me get this out of the way first. Yes, ‘Two of a Kind’ is a bad movie. Absolutely, no doubt about it. But with that same breathe let me say, I. Love. This. Movie. I have not seen it for at least thirty years. I do not own the movie and I had difficulty finding it to watch today. Thankfully, I did find it. And I am so thrilled that I did, because for an hour and a half I was thirteen again.

I sometimes find it fun to watch really great actors handle a really bad script. Everyone from the two leads to all of the supporting actors say some really, stupid lines throughout the film. “Chicken livers forever!” Watching the likes of Charles Durning, Scatman Crothers, Oliver Reed and Beatrice Straight doing their best with lines like that one makes this movie an even better gem than it already is.

And can we just talk about John Travolta shirtless for a second. I mean, the man was absolutely stunning back in the day. This forty-eight year old man now has a little crush on the twenty-something version of John Travolta. Olivia Newton-John was equally attractive and their chemistry together is still something of a marvel, even though it doesn’t quite compare to ‘Grease,’ a movie that I will be watching at a much later date this year.

After watching ‘Two of a Kind’ today, my mood has immediately been elevated. It seems to be a recurring theme with movies from this decade. The 1980’s rocked. Now excuse me while I go “rock out” to “Twist of Fate” by Miss Olivia.

Ways to Watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime, DVD Availability.

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