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OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN TRAVOLTA STAR IN TWO OF A KIND

Year Released: 1983
Not being a huge fan of what's considered the so-called Golden Era of Cinema wherein Welles, Hitchcock and Film Noir is more of a Sleek Silver, this used to happen all the time...

Poster Image Rotated
Back when an actor and actress teaming up for a handful of different vehicles, not always sequels which, since the 1980's, have become something of a typical Hollywood expectation when two people spark in one film and are expected to sustain as those same characters thereafter: To name a few past couple/partners in cinema are Doris Day and Rock Hudson. Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. Or more intense duos John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. Bogart and his young trophy wife Lauren Bacall. James Cagney and Joan Blondell. But more befitting this particular film occurred a few years later, when no-name actress turned superstar PRETTY WOMAN Julia Roberts and Richard Gere returned for what wasn't an anticipated sequel of their blockbuster, but a project (with the same director) all it's own about a RUNAWAY BRIDE. And so, onto the subject at hand, the year following GREASE 2, where (of the youngsters) only Didi Conn's ex Pink Lady returned, the world must have been yearning for that John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John chemistry that made the original GREASE – along with being a fantastic musical with terrific side characters – so incredibly dynamic...

Olivia Newton-John Travolta
Yet most likely, no one expected their anti-sequel reunion to start out with Charles Durning and Scatman Crothers playing golf on a cloud as an unseen God, voiced by Gene Hackman, passively announces he's going to end the world and start things all over: John/Travolta fans probably expected a romance a bit more... earthy.But TWO OF A KIND is what it is, igniting a do-or-all-will-die celestial bet that Travolta's narcissistic flake would actually, eventually, care about something, or more specifically, someone...

Oliver Reed
And that's where struggling bank teller Olivia Newton-John's Debbie, who has dreams of being a New York actress, and Travolta's wannabe inventor, Zack, first meet: as he clumsily robs a bank, she turns the tables, sneaking off with the money he owes GODFATHER bodyguard Richard Bright, playing dark and straight within the zaniness yet ultimately meaning little compared to Oliver Reed's dastardly devilish Beasley, who continuously sings one of The Beatles more obscure tunes, and Ringo Starr's personal favorite, John's grungy "Rain." Thus it's Oliver Reed verses Durning, Crothers and Beatrice Straight; the latter trio trying desperately to keep God from turning Earth into a catastrophic mess – which this vehicle should have been by the description alone, but it actually, miraculously works, somehow...

TWOofaSCORE: ***
Especially during the usual "lovers roaming New York" montage where a relatively great song by Olivia, TWIST OF FATE, the original title of the movie, is playing. And although both GREASE stars lack the chemistry of that particular timeless classic, made in the 70's and set in the 50's, thus being... for the most part... dated-proof, TWO OF A KIND doesn't try to be anything but a sort of zany throwback to really old black & white movies wielding silly "lover's magic" over logic, and a lot of running around to make up for a romantic comedy not very romantic or funny; but the cast members put everything they have into the bizarre piece... especially Olivia in an acting class scene intensely showing them, and us, she really can act. Too bad, after somewhat making up for her XANADU turkey and then getting physically popular on the radio charts, she basically vanished altogether. Guess Tarantino didn't have a role in mind for an aging Australian beauty.
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