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Film / It Takes Two (1995)

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For the 2021 video game of no relation, see here.

It Takes Two is a 1995 comedy film.

Two unrelated young girls who happen to look identical suddenly meet. Amanda Lemmon (Mary-Kate Olsen) is an orphan, and she is about to be adopted by a family whom she doesn't like, the Butkises. She actually wants her child-loving case worker Diane Barrows (Kirstie Alley) to adopt her instead. Diane would like to do the same thing, but authorities will not let her because of her low salary. Alyssa Callaway (Ashley Olsen) is coming home from her boarding school's piano recital competition, only to find that her wealthy father Roger (Steve Guttenberg) is about to marry Clarice Kensington (Jane Sibbett), a socialite who (secretly) hates kids and baseball (which Roger adores).

The girls switch places in a bid to get rid of Clarice and find out that Diane and Roger would fit together perfectly. So they arrange "chance" meetings with the desired result: they fall in love with each other. After some turbulences, Alyssa (who poses as Amanda) ends up being adopted by the Butkises. She and Diane (while looking for Alyssa) find out the only reason they have adopted many kids was for them to work in their salvage yard.

When Clarice secretly spies on Roger and Diane, she decides to move up the wedding from the next month to the next day. After Amanda, who poses as Alyssa, proves to the family butler Vincenzo (Philip Bosco) who she really is at the church, he summons to have the real Alyssa picked up from the Butkises' salvage yard to stall the wedding. Once she and Diane end up at the church, Roger stops the wedding and tells Clarice that he fell in love with Diane. Furious, she slaps him and prepares to do the same to both Amanda and Alyssa but is stopped by both Vincenzo and Diane. She storms out of the church, embarrassed. Alyssa embarrasses Clarice even more by stepping on her dress, revealing the back of her underpants in front of everybody, including people with cameras. Roger and Diane both find out in the end that it was Amanda and Alyssa that arranged all the meetings between the two of them the entire time.

In a nutshell, this is what The Parent Trap would look like if the twin sisters were identical strangers.

This film contains examples of:

  • All Girls Like Ponies: Alyssa.
  • Alliterative Name:
    • The Butkises change the names of all the children they adopt to a name that starts with "B", resulting in this. Alyssa was called Betty during her time there. Tellingly, their biological child, Harry, Jr., is the only one without an alliterative name.
    • Callaway names:
      • Camp Callaway
      • Cathy Callaway after marriage.
      • Clarice Callaway if she had gotten married.
  • Almost Kiss: Happens a couple of times between Roger and Diane.
  • Altar the Speed: Clarice attempts this after noticing the growing bond between Roger and Diane.
  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba:
    • Early in the film, when the orphans are exploring the camp and see the Callaway mansion across the lake.
    Kid: Every full moon, Old Lady Callaway's ghost crosses the lake and eats one of the campers.
    Amanda: Yeah, and Santa Claus lives with the Tooth Fairy in Queens.
    • Also in the climax, when Alyssa (posing as Amanda) attempts to reveal her real identity after being adopted by the Butkises.
    Alyssa: My name is Alyssa Callaway!
    Harry Butkis: Yeah, right, and I'm Princess Di.
  • Big Bad: Gold Digger, Child Hater and Jerkass Clarice, who is set up to marry Roger.
  • Big Fancy House: The Callaway Mansion. The orphans think it's haunted.
  • Big "OMG!": After Clarice sees that Amanda spit gum into her hair.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Clarice gives one to her father, after he reminds her that she is the last to be married.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:
    • Clarice.
    • Also the Butkises. They're not nearly the warm and friendly adoptive parents they may appear to at first sight.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The people from the Callaway estate who show up in a helicopter to rescue Alyssa, who had been posing as Amanda, from the Butkises' salvage yard. They then proceed to land the helicopter in the middle of Central Park.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Roger and Diane at the end. Finally.
  • Bitch Slap: Clarice gives one to Roger at the wedding. He even says he deserved it.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Alyssa's talent at miming passing out first gets used when she finds out that Clarice and Roger are getting married. It gets used again during a game of Charades.
  • Damsel in Distress: Diane in the scene where Roger rescues her from the agitated horse.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Diane gets a lot of sarcastic lines.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Alyssa never knew her mother Cathy, but she knows that she was a good woman who loved Roger. She was also a Friend to All Children, as she created the camp that Amanda attends.
  • Department of Child Disservices: Diane's employers won't let her adopt Amanda because she doesn't make enough money, yet are perfectly willing to foist Amanda on the Butkises - a family that turns out to have been adopting kids by the half dozen to force them to work in their junkyard. The fact that a neighbor brings this last point up in casual conversation makes it even worse - the Butkises aren't even keeping it a secret. They also apparently process the adoption of Amanda to the Butkises without going over Diane’s report, implying that they’re sloppy with paperwork and uncaring what happens to the kids under their care.
    Diane (on the phone to DSS): Let me just run this by you one more time, okay? Please, just hear me out, one more time. Okay. I know I don't make that much money, and I know that I'm a little bit single, but I want to adopt Amanda. No, I - Are you laughing at me? (disbelieving) He's laughing at me! You... YOU STUPID JERK! (slams down phone)
  • Family Theme Naming: The adopted Butkises all have B names.
  • Fainting: Alyssa's (fake) reaction when her father reveals that he intends to marry Clarice. According to Roger, she does this often when she is displeased. She later (pretending to be Amanda) does it when she didn't know what to do during a game of charades and it ended up helping them win the game.
  • Freudian Excuse: Clarice is implied to be The Unfavorite of the family.
  • Food Fight: Alyssa starts one in the camp mess hall before her and Amanda's cover gets blown.
  • Gag Haircut: Amanda deliberately puts gum into Clarice's hair, and her hairdresser is apparently unable to remove it. When she shows up again, it's been cut short into an awfully unflattering do.
  • Gold Digger: Clarice.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: In the climax, Diane and Alyssa steal a Central Park horse-drawn buggy in order to get to the chapel in time to stop the wedding.
  • How Many Fingers?: Diane to Roger after he falls off of his horse.
  • Hypocrite: Roger hates cell phones, but he made his fortune by investing in the cell phone industry.
  • Identical Stranger: Guess who!
  • "I Know What We Can Do" Cut: The girls' decision to get Roger and Diane to meet while horseback riding.
  • Kids Play Match Breaker: The girls scheme to break up Rodger and his gold-digging fiancé so he can be with Diane instead.
  • Kids Play Matchmaker: The premise involves two girls trying to get their parental figures to meet.
  • Love at First Sight: It takes Diane and Roger just their first encounter to get mutually besotted, and three to all-out fall for each other.
  • Mama Bear: Diane, particularly near the end of the film.
  • Match Cut: When Amanda gets settled in at camp, she places her hat on her bed. The scene cuts to Alyssa doing the same in her room.
  • Missing Mom/Death by Childbirth: Alyssa's biological mom died shortly after giving birth to her, which resulted in Roger spending the next 10 years retreating from the summer camp established by him and his late wife.
  • Naked Freak-Out: Happens to Clarice after Alyssa steps on her wedding dress, ripping off the entire skirt revealing her white panties.
  • Off to Boarding School: Clarice plans to send Alyssa to a boarding school in Tibet.
  • Overcrank: To avoid being discovered, Alyssa trips Frankie, causing him to cover Roger in macaroni and cheese. It triggers a massive Food Fight.
  • Papa Wolf: Vincenzo, like Diane, gets a moment of this near the end of the film.
  • Parental Substitute: Diane loves Amanda like her own, but social services doesn't see her as a suitable foster parent.
  • Parent with New Paramour: Up until the climax, Roger is engaged to Clarice. She's terrible.
  • Prince and Pauper: Rich girl and orphan girl take advantage of being identical strangers to live each other's lives.
  • Race for Your Love / Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace / Wedding Smashers: The climax.
  • Rescue Romance: Roger saves Diane from her horse, and Diane gives Roger first aid when he falls off of his horse.
  • Rich Language, Poor Language: Amanda, who grew up in an orphanage, has a thick Brooklyn accent, while Alyssa, who grew up attending boarding schools and living in a variety of upstate mansions, enunciates every word with the utmost care.
  • Self-Made Man: Roger Calloway. He made his money "the old-fashioned way - pure dumb luck"
  • Servile Snarker: Vincenzo.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Alyssa is the daughter of a wealthy man and seems to get whatever she wants. However, she is very polite and kind to others.
  • Summer Campy: Most of the film's plot is set at Camp Callaway.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Amanda loves playing baseball, has no qualms about getting dirty and wears primarily shorts and t-shirts, with the occasional baseball cap. Alyssa wears frilly dresses, performs in piano recitals and is much more soft spoken and polite.
  • Tomboyish Baseball Cap: Amanda occasionally wears one. Alyssa later wears one when posing as Amanda.
  • Twin Switch: Naturally, as it's Olsen Twins Movie; however, here it forms the very essence of the plot.
  • Uptown Girl: Diane believed rich guys like Roger would never marry people like her. Alyssa-as-Amanda tells her otherwise, that the late Mrs. Calloway was a teacher.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Clarice is a Child Hater sports hater bitch who barely hides her nasty behavior. Yet Roger is marrying her.
  • Witch with a Capital "B": Clarice.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Clarice is aiming to become one to Alyssa. The Butkises are Wicked Stepparents, who adopt kids to use them as unpaid labor in their salvage yard.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Vincenzo doesn't actually go through with it, but he's not shy about making the threat.
    Vincenzo: (to Clarice) Lady, If you touch that child, I will pop you one, so help me God.
  • Would Hurt a Child: When Clarice realizes she's lost, she is only too ready to hit the girls. Only timely interference from Vincenzo and Diane keep her from doing so.

Alternative Title(s): It Takes Two