1/2 StarTwo of a Kind gets one thing right, casting Gene Hackman as the voice of God. Everything else in this miserable excuse of a ‘romantic comedy’ is woeful. Starting with the off-beat story and screenplay from first time feature director John Herzfeld, which centers around a pair of repellant characters that are so self-centered it’s a miracle they take the time to stop and notice someone else is in the same room. This obvious attempt to lure fans of Grease into seeing John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John reunited onscreen is a total bust in all respects.
Lets start with the ludicrous plot, Travolta is an unsuccessful inventor who owes money to a local loan shark. In a fit of desperation he attempts to rob a bank. But the attractive and fast-thinking bank teller (Newton-John) tricks him and keeps the money for herself. This is all preceded by a prologue set in Heaven, God is talked out of doing away with mankind by optimistic angels who promise to deliver a miracle; they’re determined to make these two equally selfish people commit a great sacrifice for each other. If they fall madly in love, they will please God and save the world. All they manage to accomplish is irrevocable damage to their acting careers and bore the audience into a stupor in this mess of a film.
The late Oliver Reed seems to be the only performer in the entire production to have found the appropriate tone. His mischievous grin and finely tailored suits are fitting for a personification of the devil. Problem once again is in the writing, which jams the story with a dozen supporting characters that do little but crowd and confuse the already jumbled narrative. A total misfire, to be avoided at all costs.
Director: John Herzfeld
Stars: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Charles Durning, Oliver Reed