Review: Xanadu

Ah, Xanadu!  One of those guilty pleasure type movies of which I have fond memories from childhood.  Cheesy dialogue, questionable acting, at best, but a really great soundtrack, mostly done by ELO and Olivia Newton-John.  I really like most of the tunes.  Oh, yeah…roller skating plays a heavy role in this flick.

The movie kicks off with the Muses (yes, from Greek mythology) coming alive out of a mural and scattering to go find folks to inspire.



We follow the story one of the muses, Kira, played by Olivia Newton-John, as she helps struggling artist, Sonny.  After failing to make it as an artist, Sonny has just gone back to painting large versions of album covers…a job that frequently gets him in trouble because he likes to “enhance” them with his artistic abilities.  He has couple chance meetings, one with Kira and one with Gene Kelly’s character, Danny.  A rich guy from the big band era who decides to open a club with Sonny after Sonny shows him a property and they have a scene where they both imagine different bands in the club…



Between Danny’s and Sonny’s decision to become partners and open a club together and the actual opening of the club, we have time for Kira and Sonny to fall in love…



And, of course, an owner always needs new threads for the opening night, right?



With Sonny inspired, Kira is called back from Earth.  Sonny manages to track her down on the day of the club opening and challenge Zeus…explaining that they love each other and deserve to be together.  Zeus denies him, but agrees to give them one last night, so we get to see a number of different bits of songs that Kira and her fellow muses performed opening night before beaming back up.  Sonny sits down, saddened by the final look he’ll have of Kira…or is it?

Aside from the campy dialogue and acting, it’s funny to watch the movie to see the “costumes” that all the extras are wearing.  It’s like a time capsule of 1979/1980 southern California style.


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