Xanadu (1980)

XANADU (1980)
Article 3532 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-22-2011
Posting Date: 4-16-2011
Directed by Robert Greenwald
Featuring Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly, Michael Beck
Country: USA
What it is: I don’t know, but I hope it’s curable

An artist and a former jazz musician join forces and, with the help of a muse named Kira, open a roller disco nightclub called Xanadu.

First off, I like the Electric Light Orchestra. Second, the movie opens with a fun little riff on the Universal logo of the early thirties that is actually kind of fun. Thirdly, I admire the movie’s love for an earlier era of music, and the scene where a modern rock band and a forties dance band merge into a single entity gets a few points for being audacious. But I’ve never been a fan of Olivia Newton-John, the script (which was being written as the movie was being shot) is vapid, the acting is horrid, and it’s incredibly depressing to see Gene Kelly appearing in such an embarrassment for his final movie. I may like ELO, but they’re working way below par here. The end result is like watching story not worth catching in the first place being interrupted by a series of obnoxious music videos. It’s been claimed that the movie is a remake of DOWN TO EARTH, though that appears coincidental; in fact, DOWN TO EARTH (another movie I loathe) is really starting to look much better to me now.

This movie is about making your dreams come true. Me, I just need something to make the nightmare go away.

Coleridge should sue.

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