Wednesday, September 19, 2012

When you realize it's only Wednesday, the only thing to do is watch Xanadu

The vest is one of those male fashion items that I adore. There's something very sexy about a vest - I don't even know what it is. Those guys who can rock a vest should wear them all the time. Those who can't, well, there's a fashion choice out there that you can rock too. I promise.

One man who can rock a vest is Michael Beck. He did it shirtless in The Warriors and then with shirts in Xanadu. I can't remember which of these movies I saw first but I distinctly remember having a teen girl crush on Michael Beck. I'm sure it was the vest.

For real
But I'm not here to talk about the vest or even The Warriors (although one day I will remedy that because it is amazing). I'm here to make Wednesday go by faster and the only way to do that is to watch Xanadu.
  1. Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly, and Michael Beck are the stars. What could possibly be wrong with this combination?
  2. Soundtrack by ELO (that's the Electric Light Orchestra for those of you who were born after 1990). One of my favorite songs "I'm Alive" is at the beginning of the movie. It's the song playing when the muses come to life from a mural painted on a building. Keep in mind that enjoying this song/soundtrack still doesn't mean that Jeff Lynne will ever be anyone's favorite member of the Traveling Wilbury's.
  3. "Aw what the hell. Guys like me shouldn't dream anyway." Sonny sets the stage for a muse intervention.
  4. The Michael Beck conundrum. The Warriors was fairly well regarded film and has become a cult classic; Xanadu is just a cult classic. Beck has said that the ridiculousness of Xanadu ruined any of the momentum that The Warriors created for his career. I love both equally and for entirely different reasons so I call this my Michael Beck conundrum.
  5. Roller-skating muses - that is all.
  6. Gene Kelly enters the film during a scene in which he is playing a clarinet on the beach. For real.
  7. Does anyone in this movie work? When Sonny and Danny (Gene Kelly's character) are walking along the boardwalk, there are a lot of people around during the day on a work day. This is why people have certain perceptions about life in California.
  8. I loved roller-skating as a kid and this movie made me love it more. I haven't gone roller-skating since the mid-1990s but every time I watch this movie I want to badly. Are there any roller rinks left in NOVA? 
  9. The "Magic" sequence. This is one of my favorite pop songs and my favorite song from this movie. If I could sing, I would want to sing this song always.
  10. "Malone and McGuire sounds like a vaudeville act." Danny upon officially meeting Sonny
  11. Sonny's boss is a perfect example of what was wrong with the 80s. He "smarted up and gave up art" and didn't want his workers to be creative. He is who Allison in The Breakfast Club was thinking about when she said when you grow up your heart dies.
  12. Certain sequences in this movie were created solely to showcase Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly. Why not have a random 40s big band song in the middle of the movie? If we do, then they can sing and dance together. This + Kenny Ortega's choreography = magic.
  13. "You're supposed to be an artist - use your imagination." Preach, Kira.
  14. "Suddenly" - possibly the ultimate couple skate song. Who didn't have an awkward couple skate moment to this song at some point in their life?
  15. Kira's boot skates. I would wear these and I'm not a roller-skating muse.
  16. Danny and Sonny planning their club. The end result is what would happen if the 40s and the 80s had a baby and that baby grew up in 80s night clubs and wore a lot of neon and skirts with oddly placed slits. Then the weird merge between the decades happens at the end of the song. And then the world ends or something with jazz hands.
  17. Danny can just recite the Coleridge poem "Kubla Khan" for fun. Do people (outside of English majors who are trying too hard) actually do this?
  18. And now let's discuss the animated sequence. Is this how PG rated movies have always handled sex? Sonny and Kira appear as animated versions of themselves on a rose and then morph into fish and birds and then back to the rose. I don't really know how to feel about this part of the film. Words really can't describe it so you should just watch it for yourself. And by the way, this is all courtesy of Don Bluth who also brought you An American Tail.
  19. And then Gene Kelly gets roller skates too.
  20. "I'm a muse." "I'm glad someone is having a good time." Ha!
  21. "Muses are just supposed to inspire." Not have feelings and not fall in love with Michael Beck and his vest.
  22. Today I realized that if Kira and Sonny had babies, those babies would have the most amazing feathered 80s hair ever. The child's hair would be epic.
  23. And then Sonny becomes a petulant child. "There's no Xanadu because there's no Kira." And my favorite, "Dreams die." Yes, they do Sonny, yes they do.
  24. The sad ELO song plays and Sonny skates around trying to find where Kira came from. Then he finds the mural and skates into it. In very tiny shorts. Which brings us to Sonny meeting Zeus (in very tiny shorts). This entire sequence looks like something from the first Tron movie.
  25. Gods take Mortal History Class because they don't care about love or feelings and have no concept of time so they have to learn about it in class. This makes so much sense."Maybe just one moment. Or forever. I keep getting them mixed up too." Thanks Zeus.
  26. Finally Xanadu (the club) opens. For years, this is how I envisioned adult nightlife. And Gene Kelly is back on skates (which is surreal). Can this place please exist for real?
  27. "Xanadu" morphs into a weird song with multiple genres and costume changes. I do dig the country section (mainly for the boots) and it all leads to Kira and the other muses going back home.
  28. But all is not lost. "Magic" plays in the background as a sad Sonny looks to the sky, pining for Kira. Sonny wears an awesome Xanadu jacket (should've been a vest) and Kira is brought back to him in the form of a waitress. And love and magic conquers all.
I've decided that people who don't like this movie have no heart. There's something for everyone: Gene Kelly, dancing, Michael Beck in a vest, roller-skating, Olivia Newton-John being awesome, awkward animation, and Greek mythology.

Do you think I could convince 8 of my friends to dress likes muses for Halloween this year? Roller-skating muses? 

Image from


  1. So maybe this will lower your opinion of me, but I have never seen Xanadu or The Warriors but after reading this, I want to! In fact, my goal is watch one of them tonight. Which should I start with? And I agree, vests on men can be amazing, although at other times, quite horrifying. It's a fine line.

  2. It doesn't lower my opinion of you at all. I only hope that you love them as much as I do. I would start with The Warriors; I consider it a gateway movie for Michael Beck and certain type of late 70s film that is amazing in its oddness.

    Vests rock but should never be combined with things like scarves. Not a good combo! :)