- Movie Rating -

Two of a Kind (1983)

| December 16, 1983

I like to think that I am pretty savvy when it comes to the reasons that a movie doesn’t work.  I don’t know anything at all about the production of Two of a Kind but my feeling is that after the producers managed to rope John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John into their first screen pairing since Grease nobody felt the need to try and find a good story for them.  They figured that the money was in the names so they didn’t need to try very hard.

That’s kind of an understatement when you see the finished produced.  This is the most convoluted pile of stuff that I’ve ever seen stitched into a narrative.  It feels like pieces of old unpublished scripts that were pulled off the shelf and haphazardly knitted onto this one.

On the one hand is a very unfunny and unpleasant love story between John and Olivia who spend most of the movie being mean to each other and the rest falling in love in the way that only people in bad movies do.  He’s an investor who is pretty large debt to a couple of Juice-loan guys from the mafia and is so desperate to come up with the cash that he sticks up a bank.  Olivia is the unfortunately teller at other end of his federal crime.  She slips him worthless paper and keeps the cash.  He eventually figures out where she lives and, for no real reason, a romance blooms.

On the other hand, there’s another story in place that begins with a golf game in Heaven where four angels are visited by God who has been on vacation for Twenty-five years (where God goes on vacation could have been its own movie) and comes back and now views mankind as worthless.  He decides that it’s time for another great flood, apparently forgetting that whole rainbow business.  The angels beseech him, to give mankind one more chance and he gives them the task of finding one person that is redeemable.

These two stories don’t really have much to do with each other.  The angels come down to Earth but they don’t really intercede in Travolta’s business, they only passively watch as he and Olivia fall in love, argue with one another and then get back together again.  These are pieces of a script, ideas that have been fused together without any sort of idea of how they might function together.

John and Olivia have no chemistry here.  They’re given stupid dialogue and romantic scenes that are usually played under one of Olivia’s songs.  Good though they are, they can’t save this material which hasn’t been written so much as stapled together out of old cliches, half-written ideas and scripts that have been laying on the shelf for good reason.  The only positive here is the casting of Gene Hackman as the voice of God.  Now there you have the start of a good movie.  You could cast Hackman as God so we can learn where he goes on vacation for 25 years.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1983) View IMDB Filed in: Comedy