It Takes Two is a 1995 American comedy film directed by Andy Tennant, starring Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen (in their feature film debut), Kirstie Alley and Steve Guttenberg.

The film was released on November 17, 1995 by Warner Bros. Family Entertainment.


Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about
the entire movie.

The film is about two unrelated young girls who happen to look identical that suddenly meet each other.

It Takes Two movie print ad NickMag June July 1996

1996 print ad.

Amanda Lemmon (Mary-Kate Olsen) is an orphan who is about to be adopted by the Butkises, a family whom she doesn't like. She wants her child-loving social worker, Diane Barrows (Kirstie Alley), to adopt her instead. Diane would like to do so as well, but authorities will not let her because of her low salary.

Alyssa Callaway (Ashley Olsen) is coming home from her school's piano recital competition only to find out that her wealthy father, Roger (Steve Guttenberg) is about to marry Clarice Kensington (Jane Sibbett) a socialite who threatens to send her soon-to-be stepdaughter to boarding school in Tibet.

The girls switch places and find out that Roger and Diane would fit together perfectly. So they arrange "chance" meetings with the desired result: they fall in love with each other.

After some turbulence, 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 so 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.

Roughly two hours before it, Amanda (who poses as Alyssa) proves to the family butler, Vincenzo (Philip Bosco), who she really is. He summons to have the real Alyssa picked up from the Butkises' salvage yard to stall the wedding. Once she and Diane show up, Roger stops it and tells Clarice that he fell in love with Diane.

Furious, Clarice slaps Roger and prepares to do the same to both Amanda and Alyssa, but she is stopped by both Vincenzo and Diane. She storms out, embarrassed & Alyssa embarrasses her even more by stepping on her gown, causing the skirt to rip off, exposing her white underwear to the entire wedding.

Roger and Diane both find out in the end that it was Amanda and Alyssa that arranged all the meetings between both of them the entire time, but it ends happily.


  • Amanda Lemmon (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 equestrian. She thinks her father's fiancee, 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.
  • 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 vacation home across the lake from it. He begins to have doubts about marrying Clarice after he meets Diane and they click.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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". They have several adopted children and a biological son, Harry, Jr. (Dov Tiefenbach).


The first draft of the script for "It Takes Two" (which was made by Deborah Dean Davis) was never read by director Andy Tennant. The second writer Jeff Schechter's draft made this a "go" picture with Rysher Entertainment.

Tennant was hired and offered help for the picture's problems. He and his writing partner Rick Parks rewrote Schecter's draft. Tennant and Parks were rewritten by the producers Cruickshank. The studio preferred Tennant and Parks' draft with notes, so Tennant and Parks took another pass.

The WGAW ruled against any other writer's credits due to biased by-laws which disallowed writers/directors with partners from receiving credits on features unless in extreme circumstances & none of Davis' dialogue was used.

The filming locations took place in Cincinatti, Ohio, New York and Ontario, Canada. The camp used in the film was Camp Mini-Yo-We (which is located in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada) which is still used as an active summer camp today.

The wedding scenes took place at St. Bartholomew's Church in Manhattan, New York.

Box OfficeEdit

During its opening weekend, "It Takes Two" debuted at #4 at the box office (coming in behind films GoldenEye, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls and The American President), grossing $5,564,147 during its opening weekend.

Domestically, the film grossed $19,474,589.

Critical ReceptionEdit

The film received an 8% (rotten) rating on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, with an average score of 4/10.

Kevin Thomas from Los Angeles Times called It Takes Two "a predictable but fun romp." Roger Ebert called it "harmless and fitfully amusing" with "numbingly predictable" plot and praiseworthy performances and rated it two out of four stars.

The website Parent Previews graded this movie an overall B as a family-friendly film 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.

" Jeffrey Lyons called it "sure to become a classic an enchanted world its a timless classic thats great fun

Barbara Shulgasser of the San Francisco Examiner commented on the Olsen twins' acting, saying, "The adorable overacting of the twins (who starred in the TV show "Full House" ) make this otherwise dopey movie watchable."

Also commenting on the Olsen twins' acting, the Washington Post's Hal Hinson said, "With their perilously wide, Walter Keane eyes, the Olsen twins are cute enough, but compared with other child performers their charms seem forced."


It Takes Two Trailer 1995

It Takes Two Trailer 1995

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