Xanadu: The 1980 Olivia Newton-John Flop Everyone Must See


The 1980 film Xanadu combines Greek gods, neon lights, Olivia Newton John, and the plight of a lowly music industry painter. It’s hard to wrap your head around just how mind bogglingly bad this movie is. Aside from the soundtrack by ELO (which is legitimately great), the film itself is incomprehensible. It follows a painter who falls in love with a muse named Terpsichore (or Kira for short) played by Olivia Newton John. Along the way he decides to start a dance club with an aging Gene Kelly, who does his best to make sense of this insane film.

Even with its sad neon effects, weird cartoon interstitial, and nonsensical plot, Xanadu is extremely watchable. You won’t be able to follow what’s happening but you really don’t have to. Xanadu isn’t so much a movie but an experience.