It Takes Two (1995 film)

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

It Takes Two is a 1995 American 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.


Two unrelated young girls who happen to look identical meet by chance. Amanda Lemmon 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, 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 is coming home from her school piano recital competition, only to find that her wealthy father, Roger, is about to marry Clarice Kensington, 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, 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 is a "conspiracy" that there are "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.


  • 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. Alyssa 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.
  • Amanda Lemmon/Betty Butkis (Mary-Kate Olsen) is an orphan. She loves to play stickball. She has the idea for herself and Alyssa to switch places for a couple of days.
  • Alyssa Callaway (Ashley Olsen) is a rich girl and the only child of Roger Callaway, the owner of Camp Callaway, the summer camp for the orphans. She is a prize-winning pianist and an equestrienne. She thinks her father's fiancée, Clarice Kensington, seems nice until she overhears her saying rude things about the house and her mother. She attends Camp Callaway after switching places with Amanda.
  • Vincenzo (Philip Bosco) is Roger's 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" children and a biological son, Harry, Jr. (Dov Tiefenbach).

Other characters[edit]

  • 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 nominations[edit]

  • 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]


It Takes Two was released on November 17, 1995 in the United States and grossed $19.5 million.

The film received an 8% (rotten) rating on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, with an average score of 4/10.[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 <>
  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. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)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 links[edit]