It Takes Two Turns 25! But Is It Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's Best Movie?

We ranked all of the Olsen twins' movies in honor of the 1995 classic's anniversary.

By Tierney Bricker Nov 17, 2020 11:00 AMTags
Watch: Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen's Growing Fashion Empire

25 years later, we still have that can't-eat, can't-sleep, reach-for-the-stars, over- the-fence, World Series kind of thing for the OTCU: Olsen Twins Cinematic Universe. 

Three years before The Parent Trap remake starring Lindsay Lohan came out, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen had their own story of twins separated at birth randomly meeting and deciding to swap places: It Takes Two.

Released on Nov. 17 1995, the family-friendly comedy was the Full House breakout stars' first major film to be released by their production company, Dualstar Entertainment. Just nine years old when it came out, Mary-Kate played orphaned tomboy Amanda who is a favorite of caretaker Diane (Kirstie Alley), while Ashley took on the part of Alyssa, a sad little rich girl desperate to stop her father (oh, hi Steve Guttenberg!) from marrying his gold-digger girlfriend. How they got separated at birth is, inexplicably and hilariously, never explained!

While it made just $19 million at the box office and earned a paltry eight percent approval rate on Rotten Tomatoes, It Takes Two helped jump-start the Olsen twins' movie empire. And for that, we, children raised on those straight-to-DVD cinematic masterpieces, are forever grateful. 

But is It Takes Two Mary-Kate and Ashley's best movie ever? 

What All of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's Movie Boyfriends Are Up to Now

So which Olsen twins movie is the best of them all? Find out by checking our ranking...

THE WORST: NO. 14: Switching Goals

Released: 1999
Familiar Face: Michael Cera as a brat. On brand?

To quote one of their far superior films, Switching Goals was so "S&C." (Snooze and cruise.)

NO. 13: How the West Was Fun

Released: 1994
Familiar Face: Elizabeth Olsen, the twins' real-life-little sis-turned-Avenger, as a girl in a car. Yep.

But was it really THAT fun? Of all the Olsens' films, this one, set on a dude ranch, is the most forgettable. Sorry, you are not the cute one.

NO. 12: Getting There

Released: 2002
Familiar Face: Billy Aaron Brown…'cause he was in Holiday in the Sun. Double-dipping!

Sweet 16 and licensed to to boredom.

NO. 11: When in Rome

Released: 2002
Familiar Face: Like, no one. 

Listen, we don't expect believability when we pop in an Olsen Twins' straight-to-VHS, but the CEO of a major company taking two of his (16-year-old!) interns on a vacation after they've been fired and then giving them free reign over the biggest event of the year? WE ARE OFFENDED, DUALSTAR. We, and Rome, deserved better.

NO. 10: New York Minute

Released: 2004
Familiar Face: Supernatural star Jared Padalecki. Schitt's Creek'Eugene Levy. Andy Richter. Darrell Hammond. Drew Pinsky. Jack Osbourne. Oh, and their Full House dad Bob Saget as himself. So much cringing. So little time. 

The Olsen Twins' final film together actually made it into theaters...and promptly crashed and burned. Like, harder than a plane crash on a Shonda Rhimes show. Still, there was something so charmingly ridiculous about the movie, but we're not sure if it was intentionally bad or, like, bad-bad. Whatever, we still paid to see it. And would do so again.

NO. 9: The Challenge

Released: 2003
Familiar Face: Sons of Anarchy star Theo Rossi played the girls' teammate who almost blew the whole thing because he was too busy day-dreaming about his grandmother's meatballs. Classic. 

Mary-Kate and Ashley's final straight-to-DVD film definitely wasn't their best, but it gets bumped up a few spots thanks to its seriously epic final scene, which found many of their former on-screen love interests returning and fighting over them. While the boys argue, MK&A run down the beach. "You know, Ash, boys will come and go, but we'll always have each other," Mary-Kate says, while Ashley adds, "And that's not just in a movie." OMG, CURSES ON OUR PARENTS FOREVER FOR NOT GIVING US A TWIN SISTER. 

NO. 8: To Grandmother's House We Go

Released: 1992
Familiar Face: Rhea Perlman and Jerry Van Dyke as the girls' accidental kidnappers. They came for the mail truck, left with baby billionaires.

Such a solid movie to watch around Christmastime, but as far as holiday-themed Olsen outings, it just doesn't hold up to the next film on our list...

NO. 7: Double, Double Toil and Trouble

Released: 1993
Familiar Face: Cloris Leachman being cruelly rebuffed by the Academy for her stellar dual work as the witchy and bitchy aunt Agatha and sweet, sweet Aunt Sofia. Plus, Will & Grace's Eric McCormack as their dad. 

One of our favorite movies to watch around Halloween, this one was actually kind of messed up when you really think about it for longer than five seconds. They spend the entire movie with a grave-digger, a homeless man and a professional clown. #SquadGoals or To Catch a Predator's dream episode?

NO. 6: Winning London

Released: 2001
Familiar Face: Jesse Spencer, who later went on to star in House and Chicago Fire. But we bet he's probably approached more about his work as James, a freakin' British lord who wooed MK. 

This film is so important in the MK&A mythology because it was the first time they FRENCH-KISSED their love interests. Not Michelle Tanner, not yet fashion moguls, Winning London is the middle of the Olsen twins' long Hollywood journey. Plus, we're pretty sure Model UN memberships increased by at least 15 percent after this one. See? Important!

NO. 5: Our Lips Are Sealed

Released: 2000
Familiar Face: Jason Clarke, who's since starred in Zero Dark Thirty, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and a million other prestige movies, was one of the girls' singular villain-turned-BFFs (who they put make-up on), and Willie Garson was their long-suffering witness protection liaison.

The twins are forced to head down under, learn how to surf and eat Vegemite* after witnessing a crime, placing them in witness protection. Does it make sense? Not at all. But hey, any excuse for a free trip to Australia!

* = it was totally Nutella. 

NO. 4: Billboard Dad

Released: 1998
Familiar Face: Tom Amandes as THE Billboard Dad, duh! Also, Pretty Little Liars star Troian Bellisario was type-cast as one of their BFFs because she was their BFF in real-life.

Much like the dad they pimp out to the single ladies of Venice, this movie was COOL TO THE MAX. And taught us that you can scramble eggs in a Ziploc bag.

NO. 3: Passport to Paris

Released: 1999
Familiar Face: Gregory Peck's grandson Ethan Peck, who was Mary-Kate's first on-screen (and off-screen) kiss ever. NBD.

The girls' first international adventure also featured their first on-screen kisses. Such a major milestone in their filmography. Plus, baguettes and McDonald's French fries leading a revolution at the embassy!

NO. 2: It Takes Two

Released: 1995
Familiar Face: Oh, you know, just STEVE GUTTENBERG and KIRSTIE ALLEY as the best fictional parental figures ever. 
You can keep The Parent Trap, we'll take the Olsens' version of the whole twins-switch-places-to-play-matchmakers trope any day, thank you very much. It just gives us that can't-eat, can't-sleep, reach-for-the-stars, over-the-fence, World Series kind of feeling and was one of the sisters' rare films to get a theatrical release.

Also, the best part of this movie (food fight aside) is that there is ZERO explanation behind how the twins were separated at birth. And no one knew.

THE BEST: NO 1.: Holiday in the Sun

Released: 2001
Familiar Faces: Megan Fox as the villainous Brianna Wallace, as in the Wallace Department store Wallaces. And Austin Nichols, he of One Tree Hill and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fame, was MK's bug-obsessed stalker/love interest.

Best location: The Bahamas! Best boy: Jordan Landers 4eva! Best outfits: The swimsuits! The sundresses! Best plot: The girls spend the night in jail because of a guy who runs a Sea-Doo shack! Holiday in the Sun is the ultimate teen fantasy…and the ultimate MK&A movie.

It Takes Two is available on Amazon Prime Video and CBS All-Access.