It Takes Two (1995 film)

It Takes Two is a 1995 American comedy film starring Kirstie Alley, Steve Guttenberg, and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. The title is taken from the song of the same name, by Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston, which is played in the closing credits. The storyline is similar to the 1881 novel, The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain, and the 1961 film, The Parent Trap, which in turn is based on the 1949 book Lottie and Lisa by Erich Kästner. Coincidentally, The Parent Trap would be remade three years later, in 1998, with Lindsay Lohan playing the role of both twins. The film was distributed by Warner Bros. through their Warner Bros. Family Entertainment label.

It Takes Two
It takes two.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAndy Tennant
Written byDeborah Dean Davis
Produced byJames Orr
Jim Cruickshank
CinematographyKenneth D. Zunder
Edited byRoger Bondelli
Music byRay Foote
Sherman Foote
Rysher Entertainment
Dualstar Productions
Orr & Cruickshank Productions
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • November 17, 1995 (1995-11-17)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$19.5 million[1]


Amanda Lemmon is a nine-year-old orphan who is being sought after by the Butkises, a family known to "collect" kids. She actually wants Diane Barrows, her social worker, to adopt her instead. Diane would like to do so, but authorities will not let her because of her low salary and unmarried status. While at summer camp, Amanda meets a girl named Alyssa Callaway, who looks just like Amanda. She's just come home from boarding school, only to find that her father and the camp's owner, Roger, is about to marry Clarice Kensington, an overbearing, self-centered, gold-digging socialite.

Amanda and Alyssa soon become acquainted, each longing for the other's life and decide to switch places. While Amanda adapts to Alyssa's wealthy lifestyle and Alyssa gets to experience summer camp, they 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, they arrange many meetings between them, hoping that they'll fall in love.

Roger and Diane do seem to hit it off upon meeting, as she is pleasantly surprised with his kind and humble nature despite his wealth, and he, with her help, is able to work up the courage to visit the camp again, which he has not done since his first wife (and Alyssa's mother) died, due to painful memories of her untimely death.

Upon having spied Roger and Diane laughing and swimming together in the lake one afternoon, Clarice manipulates Roger into moving the wedding up from the next month to the next day and Amanda, while posing as Alyssa, finds out that she plans on sending her off to boarding school in Tibet afterward. Meanwhile, Alyssa ends up being adopted without Diane's knowledge while posing as Amanda, and placed in the Butkis home by child services. She then discovers the only reason the Butkises had adopted so many kids was to put them to work in their salvage yard as slave laborers.

Roughly two hours before the wedding, Amanda proves to the family butler, Vincenzo, that she is not Alyssa. He visits Diane at the orphanage and tells her about the switch. Diane arrives at the Butkises’ salvage yard via helicopter to pick up the real Alyssa and get her to the wedding. In the meantime, Vincenzo and Amanda work to stall it.

As Roger hesitates to say "I do," he recalls all the good times he had with Diane and realizes that he has fallen in love with her, and he therefore cannot marry Clarice. All of a sudden, Diane bursts into the church with Alyssa behind her. At that moment, Roger confesses his love for her to Clarice, who furiously slaps him. She tries to do the same to "Alyssa", blaming her for sabotaging their wedding, but is stopped by Vincenzo. As she storms down the aisle, the real Alyssa steps out from behind Diane, and Clarice claims there is a "conspiracy", thinking that there are two Alyssas. She tries to slap the real Alyssa, but Diane steps forward in time, barking at her, "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 deliberately steps on her wedding gown, causing the skirt to rip off and exposing her white knickers to the whole church. An incredulous Roger learns that Alyssa has been with Diane, while he had Amanda, all this time and it becomes apparent to them that the girls had orchestrated their meet-ups all along, about which they are extremely smug. After some encouragement from them, Roger and Diane share a kiss, and the four of them board a horse-drawn carriage, driven by Vincenzo, to take a ride through Central Park.


  • Diane Barrows (Kirstie Alley) is a social worker who takes care of the orphans. She especially loves Amanda and would like to adopt her but does not make enough money to be allowed to do so. Amanda also especially likes her. She also wants to find love and thinks she might have a chance after meeting Roger.
  • Roger Callaway (Steve Guttenberg) is a very wealthy widower. He owns Camp Callaway, which he founded with his late wife, and currently resides in a large home across the lake from it. He begins to have doubts about marrying Clarice after he meets Diane and they click.
  • Ashley Olsen as Alyssa Callaway
  • Mary-Kate Olsen as Amanda Lemmon
  • Vincenzo (Philip Bosco) is the Callaways' butler, best friend, and right-hand man as well as a father figure to Alyssa since the day she was born.
  • Clarice Kensington (Jane Sibbett) is a socialite and gold digger, the opposite of Diane. She dislikes children and baseball and only intends to marry Roger for his money. She also convinces him that Alyssa is too spoiled and gets away with bad behavior.
  • Harry (Ernie Grunwald) and Fanny Butkis (Ellen-Ray Henessy) are Amanda's potential adoptive parents. Although she wants to be adopted, she dislikes them, having heard that they "collect kids" and will "take anybody" only to make them work in the salvage yard for slave labor. They have several "adopted" kids and a biological son, Harry, Jr. (Dov Tiefenbach).

Other charactersEdit

  • Carmen (Michelle Grisom), Amanda's closest friend at the orphanage
  • Frankie (Desmond Robertson), Amanda's friend at the orphanage, who makes fun of her for being adopted by the Butkises
  • Tiny (Tiny Mills)
  • Patty (Shanelle Henry)
  • Anthony (Anthony Aiello)
  • Wanda (La Tonya Borsay)
  • Michelle (Michelle Lonsdale-Smith)
  • Jerry (Sean Orr)
  • Emily (Elizabeth Walsh)
  • Blue Team Kid (Michael Vollans)
  • Bernard Louffier (Paul O'Sullivan)
  • Mr. Kensington (Lawrence Dane)
  • St. Bart's Priest (Gerrard Parkes)
  • Muffy Bilderberg (Gina Clayton)
  • Craig Bilderberg (Doug O'Keefe)
  • Waiter at Party (Mark Huisman)
  • Miss Van Dyke (Marilyn Boyle)
  • Brenda Butkis (Annick Obonsawin)
  • Billy Butkis (Austin Pool)
  • Bobby Butkis (Andre Lorant)
  • Airport Tractor Driver (Philip Williams)
  • Butkises' Neighbor (Vito Rezza)

Awards and nominationsEdit

  • WonKids' Choice Award for Favorite Movie Actress (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen)[2]
  • Nominated – Nickelodeon Blimp Award for Favorite Movie Actress (Kirstie Alley)
  • NominatedYoung Artist Award for Best Performance by an Actress Under Ten (Ashley Olsen)[3]
  • NominatedYoung Artist Award for Best Performance by an Actress Under Ten (Mary-Kate Olsen)[3]


The film was released on November 17, 1995 in the United States and grossed $19.5 million.

The film received an 8% approval rating on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, based on 24 reviews.[4]

Kevin Thomas from Los Angeles Times called the film "a predictable but fun romp."[5] Roger Ebert called it "harmless and fitfully amusing" with "numbingly predictable" plot and praiseworthy performances and rated it two out of four stars.[6]

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.[7]


  1. ^ It Takes Two at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ "Olsen Twins Winners at Kids' Choice." Rocky Mountain News May 15, 1996. HighBeam Research. Web. February 11, 2012 < Archived 2014-06-11 at the Wayback Machine>
  3. ^ a b "Seventeenth Annual Youth in Film Awards: 1994-1995." Young Artist Award, 2012. Web. February 11, 2012 <"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-03-04. Retrieved 2011-03-31.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)>.
  4. ^ Rotten Tomatoes, "It Takes Two (1995)". Accessed September 11, 2016.
  5. ^ Thomas, Kevin. "A predictable but fun romp." Los Angeles Times November 17, 1995: F2. Web. February 08, 2012 <>. (subscription required)
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger. "It Takes Two." Chicago Sun-Times 17 Nov. 1995. Web. 08 Feb. 2012 <>.
  7. ^ Gustafson, Rod. "It Takes Two." Parent Previews June 03, 1996. Web. February 08, 2012 <>.

External linksEdit