It Takes Two is a 1995 film starring Kirstie Alley, Steve Guttenberg and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Its title is taken from the song of the same name, by Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston, which is played in the closing credits.
|It Takes Two|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Andy Tennant|
|Produced by||Mel Efros|
|Written by||Deborah Dean Davis|
|Music by||Ray Foote|
|Cinematography||Kenneth D. Zunder|
|Edited by||Roger Bondelli|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
Rysher Entertainment (International)
Two unrelated young girls who happen to look identical meet by chance. Amanda Lemmon (Mary-Kate Olsen) is an orphan, and she is about to be adopted by the Butkises, a family known to "collect" kids. She actually wants her child-loving social worker, Diane Barrows (Kirstie Alley), to adopt her instead. Diane would like to do so, but authorities will not let her because of her low salary and unmarried status. Alyssa Callaway (Ashley Olsen) is coming home from her school piano recital competition, only to find that her wealthy father, Roger (Steve Guttenberg), is about to marry Clarice Kensington (Jane Sibbett), an overbearing self-centered gold-digger socialite who plans to send Alyssa off to boarding school in Tibet after marrying Roger.
The identical strangers long for the other's life and decide to switch places. While Amanda enjoys Alyssa's wealthy lifestyle and Alyssa gets to experience being a kid at summer camp, the two get to know the other's parental figure and discover that Roger and Diane would be perfect for each other. Desperate to set them up, the girls arrange many "chance" meetings between Diane and Roger, hoping that they fall in love.
Upon having spied Roger and Diane laughing and swimming together in a lake one afternoon, Clarice manipulates Roger into moving the wedding up from the next month to the next day. Soon after, Alyssa, while posing as Amanda, ends up being adopted by the Butkises without Diane's knowledge, and is taken away by child services. Alyssa discovers the only reason the Butkises had adopted so many kids was to put them to work in their salvage yard.
Roughly two hours before the wedding, Amanda, who poses as Alyssa, proves to the family butler, Vincenzo (Philip Bosco), that she is not Alyssa. He contacts Diane and summons to have the real Alyssa picked up from the Butkises' salvage yard. In the meantime, Vincenzo and Amanda work to stall the wedding.
Just as Roger is about to say "I do," Diane bursts into the church with the real Alyssa behind her, and Roger falters at the sight of Diane, recalling all the good times they had together. In that moment, he realizes he has fallen in love with Diane and confesses this to Clarice. Furious, she slaps him and tries to do the same to "Alyssa," blaming her for sabotaging their relationship, but is stopped by Vincenzo. As Clarice storms down the aisle, the real Alyssa steps out from behind Diane, and Clarice claims it's a "conspiracy" that there's "two of them." She tries to take this new opportunity to slap Alyssa, but Diane steps forward in time, barking at her to "Back off, Barbie," and calmly informs her that she has something in her teeth. Humiliated, Clarice moves to storm out of the church again, but Alyssa embarrasses her even further by stepping on her wedding gown, causing the skirt to rip off.
An incredulous Roger learns that Alyssa has been with Diane all this time and it becomes apparent to them that Amanda and Alyssa had orchestrated their meet-ups all along, about which the girls are extremely smug. After some encouragement from the girls, Roger and Diane kiss, and the four of them board a horse-drawn carriage, driven by Vincenzo, to take a ride through Central Park.
It Takes Two was released on November 17, 1995 in the United States and grossed $19,474,589.
Kevin Thomas from Los Angeles Times called the film "a predictable but fun romp." Roger Ebert called it "harmless and fitfully amusing" with "numbingly predictable" plot and praiseworthy performances and rated it two out of four stars.
The website Parent Previews graded the film an overall B as a family-friendly one with "only a couple of bad words and a bit of child intimidation from the bad guys," and Rod Gustafson from that website called it "predictable" with a "happy ending" that children can enjoy.