Can I just tell you how awesome Olivia Newton-John was (is)? In 1980 when Xanadu hit theaters, ONJ was a major phenomenon. Every boy was in love with her. Every girl wanted to be her. I got to be her briefly during my MySpace blogging days (long story).
As a kid, I had no idea Olivia Newton-John had made such an impression on my entire generation until our high school drama club did a production of Grease. The line to audition wrapped all the way around the school. (It was a round school--another long story.) As I spoke to my classmates about my childhood adoration for ONJ, they all pretty much laughed and said, "Yeah. Join the club."
Xanadu may have been a really, really, really bad movie but it didn't matter. It had Olivia Newton-John on roller skates, wearing long flowing skirts and ribbon barrettes in her hair.
Plus it had Gene Kelly, a Hollywood legend. It was his last feature film. He apparently took the job because it was filming close to his house. But his scenes with ONJ make this movie a true classic.
While the movie was a massive bomb when it came out, it has become a cult favorite. It's even an award-winning Broadway musical.
Some things grow better with time. The movie still seems cheesy, but I'm sure the story makes a great play. I think this scene toward the end of the movie is all you ever really need to see of Xanadu.