Prior to today, I have never watched Xanadu.
No, seriously. I’ve never watched it.
In fact, I only know two things about Xanadu:
- #1 – Olivia Newton-John is the star of the movie.
- #2 – The title track of Xanadu – which I quite like – is performed by Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra
Beyond these two things, I am a complete Xanadu novice. In the back of my mind I have the sneaking suspicion this is not a great movie, but I honestly don’t know.
The truth is, Xanadu has been on my watch list for years. As is the case with most unseen films, there’s no real reason why I haven’t watched it, I simply haven’t made the effort.
I have a feeling it’s going to be cheesy, camp, and very much a product of its time. Depending on how the movie plays out, this could either be a good thing or a bad thing.
I really don’t know what I’m in for. So, let’s get started and see what the heck Xanadu is all about.
According to the opening titles, Gene Kelly is in this film!
I had no idea. You mean go tell me that this film isn’t just wall-to-wall Olivia Newton-John?!
5mins – OK, I’m five minutes in… and I can already tell that my preconceived ideas about this movie being cheesy, camp, and a product of its time are coming true.
Oh and, am I supposed to know what is going on?
*Scratches head, with a confused look on face*
10mins – Nope, still confused.
20mins – I’m not even a third of the way in yet and I have so many questions:
- 1.) Was this released theatrically? It looks like a low budget TV pilot!
- 2.) Is Olivia Newton-John supposed to be playing an alien? I’m getting alien-vibes.
- 3.) Is Gene Kelly supposed to be playing an alien? I’m getting just as many alien-vibes from him.
- 4.) Who thought this movie would be a good idea?
- 5.) Have I accidentally taken some mind-altering drugs and this whole ‘Xanadu‘ thing is just a bizarre figment of my warped imagination?
30mins – I’m now (finally) a third of the way into this film and it is truly, truly awful. So bad.
It’s also so confusing. If I am on mind-altering drugs, they are wearing off.
32mins – Jeez, now what is going on?!
Gene Kelly is dancing with what appears to be… a ‘memory’ of Olivia Newton-John dressed in war time garb!
Is she dead?
Is she a ghost?!
Is he hallucinating?
39mins – Now what’s this all about…?!
40mins – 🤪😳🤔🤕🤯
50mins – This film makes no sense. I’M SO CONFUSED!!!!!
Jeez, I need a breather.
I can cope with most things, including people who say “pacific” when they mean “specific” (you know who you are), but I’m not sure I can cope with Xanadu. The story in this film is simply nonsensical.
What is Olivia Newton-John supposed to be? Why is she rollerskating? Why is everyone singing so much? What is going on?
And to think, Gene Kelly was drafted into this shit.
He was one of the stars of Singing in the Rain!
He worked with some of the biggest names of his era, including Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra and Evel Knievel!
He danced with Jerry the mouse in Anchors Aweigh!
Who the hell signed him up to this rancid cack?!
*Takes a deep breath*
OK, there’s only 40 minutes left – I can do this. I can do this.
I CAN DO THIS.
51mins – I don’t think I can do this.
55mins – Oh FFS… this live-action movie has now turned into a cartoon – with NO EXPLANATION! WHY?!?
Seriously, has someone slipped something into my drink? If so, can you slip some more in?
57mins – And it’s back to live-action. Still no explanation as to what that was all about. Presumably someone involved with the making of this movie thought it would be a good idea to pop in a random cartoon sequence. I guess no one told them not to.
*After what feels like an eternity, but in reality is actually 1hour 10minutes, things start to make sense*
1hr 10mins – So, I think I’m now starting to understand this movie (the drugs must be wearing off… or kicking in). Olivia Newton-John isn’t a ghost and she isn’t an alien. No, she is…
A muse who has come to Earth to inspire ‘artists’.
Oh and she knows Zeus.
Yeah, why not?
1hr 24mins – The film is beginning to wrap up (finally), yet there is time for the genuine highlight of the movie – a musical sequence for the title track, Xanadu!
Why did I sit through the rest of this rubbish, when this is clearly the best bit?
Absolute, Grade A shite.
The music was fine – especially the tracks All Over the World and Xanadu – but the story and the acting was beyond terrible.
I mean seriously.
Never ever again.
Thank you for taking the time to come on this journey with me through Xanadu. I’m sorry. I’m really sorry.
Should you want to read more posts (that don’t talk about Xanadu), please check out one of the recommended reads below.