As a preteen girl growing up in the nineties, it’s needless to say that Mary-Kate and Ashley movies dominated my video (and a few short years later, DVD!) shelf. Those movies were everything I needed in my angsty tweenage years; cool clothes, hot boys, exotic locations, and happy endings; what’s not to love? I am by no means exaggerating when I say Mary-Kate and Ashley took over my life – I had their movies, their book series, their makeup, and even a calendar featuring them in all their beautiful twin-ly glory. I still remember their birthday (June 13th – I swear I didn’t Wikipedia it; that’s how deep this obsession ran, y’all!) and I’m pretty sure I can still recall the lyrics of some of the songs from the “You’re Invited to..” series (and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you weren’t a real fan). Anyways, to illustrate to you my obsession, here is my definitive ranking of MK&A movies:
P.S. While I was doing a little research for this article I discovered that the movies are all on YouTube! You’re welcome.
10. New York Minute
This movie was an insult to the Mary-Kate and Ashley franchise and a dismal ending to their reign as the queens of the tweens. I’m not even joking; I was 50 shades of upset at this movie. I spent the whole movie squinting and the screen like, “what is this?”. It was a “no” from me, folks; the plotline was convoluted and unrealistic and that is saying a lot for a Mary-Kate and Ashley flick and the whole thing just felt forced. The only positive was the revival of my other tweenage fantasy; Dean from Gilmore Girls, as a romantic interest for one of the twins; not even sure which one – that is how disinterested I was in this movie.
9. Switching Goals
This was the second Mary-Kate and Ashley movie I ever watched and it was pretty decent. The reason I have ranked it so low is because I only watched it once, which says to me that it really didn’t resonate with my 12-year-old self. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t into soccer, or maybe it was because the movie didn’t have enough cute guys and/or romance for my hormone-crazed tastes. Either way, I really don’t remember much about this movie for it to rank any higher on my list.
8. Our Lips Are Sealed
This, in my mind, was definitely the most slapstick of all their movies. I mean, let’s start with the premise of the movie which could only be described as cheesy at best. The twins are placed into witness protection after seeing a crime, but due to their blabbermouth tendencies are constantly forced to relocate until finally they are placed in Sydney, Australia. As if that weren’t enough, the crime boss who they are hiding from was named “Hatchew”, so that any time his name was mentioned, someone inevitably went “bless you”. Finally, on top of all that, the twins were somehow able to knock out the assassins that “Hatchew” sent after them with a surfboard and then proceeded to convince them to switch sides. I’m afraid this was all too much, even for my 11 year-old brain.
8. When in Rome
This is one of their later movies and maybe they were getting tired of doing the whole movies for tweens thing, but the acting in this was so weak. I remember being anxious for this to come out because I thought, “Mary-Kate and Ashley in Rome? With a fashion internship? Sign me up!” but found myself underwhelmed. The constant firing and re-hiring was a bit tedious and the whole stealing Mary-Kate’s designs was such a played-out concept. However, the guys in this movie were super hot which is always a plus.
7. Getting There
I really loved this movie – it was the movie where I realized (incorrectly I now see, in hindsight) that life really began at sixteen. The driver’s test, the road tripping with your friends with no parents? The hijinks and meeting cute guys along the way? Going to the winter Olympics? This movie really gave me super unrealistic expectations of how my life was going to go once I turned sixteen. Nevertheless, this movie was really cute and taught me a valuable life lesson – “half the fun is getting there”.
6. Bilboard Dad
I’ve always felt like this was basically the Olsen twins’ version of “The Parent Trap” (which happens to be my most watched childhood movie, so you already know this flick is off to a good start). I liked a lot about this movie – I liked the Southern California vibe, the fact that their Dad was a sculptor, the billboard idea, and the whole blended-family dynamic the movie had going on. Also, even though he was the villain of the movie, I really loved Nigel’s faux British accent; even as a pre-teen, I got a hoot out of it.4. Passport to Paris
The one that started it all. This is the first Olsen twins’ movie that I ever watched, so forgive me if I get a little nostalgic. “Passport to Paris” was basically everything you ever dreamed a trip to Paris would entail – French photo shoots, moonlit rooftop dinners with Parisian boys, shopping sprees, and a first kiss. This movie set the tone for what would be my extremely high and unrealistic expectations for romance and relationships. You know what? I love it even more for that. Keep your standards high, ladies! #MaryKateandAshleyTaughtMe
3. The Challenge
This movie represented the end of an era; it was their last movie (the hot mess that was a “New York Minute” notwithstanding) and I think they ended on a really good note. Reality shows were just gaining popularity and this movie’s survivor-esque feel was really new and fresh. Also it is the only movie where the twins play sisters who actually don’t like each other, so that was new too. This movie also felt a bit more grown-up (presumably because they were more grown-up). Though I tend to have a favorite twin in their movies, I loved both their characters in this movie. Also, the romance in this was perhaps one of the more believable ones.2. Holiday in the Sun
First of all, being the island girl that I am, just the fact that this movie was set in the Caribbean was a plus for me. That said, I really loved all the characters in this movie – the sexy bad boy Jordan, the spoiled rich princess Briana (aka Megan Fox!), the goofy but lovable Scott, and his precocious sister Griffen. The plot was not even as corny as it usually is, with the twins clearing hottie Jordan’s name after he is accused of smuggling stolen artifacts. There was absolutely nothing wrong with this movie. Confession: I still remember some of the lines from the movie.1. Winning London
Finally, my all-time favorite Olsen twin movie – “Winning London”. I loved that it was a model UN competition and as a result there were delegates from all around the world, thereby making this the most diverse of all their movies. I also think that this movie they spent a lot more time “seeing the sights”, so there was a lot of visiting famous monuments and you could really get into the British culture. All that said, I’m pretty sure it’s the air vent kiss scene between Riley and Brian that puts this movie on a pedestal for me; for years, that was the standard on-screen kiss to which I judged all other on-screen kisses.