The combination of my partner playing ELO in the gym and reading The Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley made me think of one of my childhood favorites, Xanadu. Considered a truly awful movie by many, but a cult classic by Oliva Newton-John fans like me.
While the soundtrack went double-platinum in the US, the film was considered so cringy that it supposedly started the “Raspberry Awards” and was nominated for worst actress, worst actor, worst director, and so on.
But I love this movie.
I love it so much that I know all the words to the songs, and I do not know words of songs unless I’ve heard them A LOT. And while the story is bizarre at best, ultimately it’s about making dreams come true (a roller-disco!) and love (take that, Zeus!).
Speaking of god, and using his name in vain, how do I explain this film? Okay, Sonny Malone (Michael Beck), starving artist (yadda, yadda, yadda), manages to wake the Nine Muses of Olympus (as we all sometimes do) so be careful with your magic powers, yo. Anyway, Kira (Oliva Newton-John) aka Terpsichore aka the muse of dance and chorus decides to stick around on Earth when her other sisters return to (?) where ever Greek gods live (it’s complicated). They fall in love and along the way meet the great Gene Kelly, urrr, I mean Danny McGuire, and decide to open Xanadu, the ultimate in roller-disco awesomeness.
Some fun facts from IMDB:
// The title comes from the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem “Kubla Khan.”
// Olympic skater Peggy Fleming helped plan the skating scenes.
// Andy Gibb was originally cast to play Sonny.
// It was Gene Kelly’s last film.
// The movie was adapted into a Broadway musical, but was a satire of the film. It ran for over 500 performances and was nominated for the Best Musical and Best Book Tony’s.
// The film and soundtrack just celebrated its 40th anniversary.
Have you seen Xanadu? When do you plan on watching it? Why haven’t you watched it yet? Is there a movie you adore but everyone else hates?