The '90s and early '00s were an epic and game-changing time for millennials when it came to entertainment. But I'm sad to report that icons Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (and their prime movie-making era) are unfortunately overlooked. Blame it on the undying fan love of Disney Channel Original Movies. But the Olsen twins deserve crowns when it comes to royalty of '90s pop culture. As far-fetched and ridiculous as the plots in their films were (which is also what made them so incredible), there are a handful that completely hold up today and should still be as popular as they once were.
Beyond the unrealistic stories (which served as prime escapism to young minds), there are a number of reasons Mary-Kate and Ashley films are iconic and totally worth the watch today. First, they embodied the epitome of '90s fashion: bandanas, tube tops, and colored hair clips, for starters. Second, they usually had bitchy, teen-girl attitude. To put it simply: The Olsen twins didn't have time for anyone's crap, and they shamelessly embraced being teenagers. Because of that shamelessness, they also provided an endless amount of obscure sayings ("cool to the max"). A lot of the films also featured a handful of celeb cameos. That is a perfect recipe for some legendary movies. Here are MK&A films that should make a comeback, ASAP.
1. It Takes Two (1995)
Before The Parent Trap (well, the 1998 remake), there was It Takes Two. Like Parent Trap, the story is about two identical girls who swap places to influence the love lives of their guardians. Both films totally hold up today and are still wildly entertaining. Unfortunately, unlike Parent Trap, ITT slowly fell under the radar. Two pubescents scheming to overthrow a gold digger is cinematic gold, in my opinion.
2. Our Lips Are Sealed (2000)
In a totally relatable and realistic story, two teens Maddie (Mary-Kate) and Andrea (Ashley) are sent to Australia as a last resort after being placed in the Witness Protection Program. Somehow, the bad guys not only track them down, but amidst their partying and fun down under, the girls manage to kick their butts. The lacking adult supervision the whole time is irrelevant because the absurdity of the plot (and coincidence of really hot guys practically awaiting their arrival) is what makes it so fun.
3. Passport to Paris (1999)
Honestly, the vacation experienced by two teenagers in this '99 flick is still my dream getaway as a 26-year-old. In this gem, two boy-crazy sisters are sent to Paris (where their estranged grandfather is the U.S. Ambassador to France), to get meaningful life experience outside of their high school halls. They ultimately find two hot guys anyway, because this is Mary-Kate and Ashley I'm talking about. But they also develop more profound understandings of friendship and family along the way — with some kickass modeling montages and iconic one-liners, obviously.
4. Billboard Dad (1998)
The glory of Mary-Kate and Ashley films is that they show viewers anything is possible. Quite literally, anything. In desperate need to find their artist dad a mate, two sisters manage to climb up an empty billboard in the middle of the night, and on top of it, draw an ad for single women to date their dad. Their laid-back, cool-girl, California vibe totally still make them icons in 2017. Not to mention, they provided killer phrases like "Cool to the max" and "Hunk-a-saurus."
5. You're Invited to Mary-Kate and Ashley's Mall Party (1997)
With technology taking over lives, it feels like people have their heads buried in their phones around the clock. Revisiting a film like Mary-Kate and Ashley's Mall Party shows how people can have the time of their freaking lives at (what seems like) the most boring of places. They literally make the mall feel like an emporium of endless mystical opportunity while holding onto the carefree nostalgia of high school. It's a timeless piece if you ask me.
6. Holiday in the Sun (2001)
Mary-Kate and Ashley's characters are almost so annoyingly unrealistic in this one that it makes it hard to look away and in turn even more entertaining. It's almost like the Housewives. Two teens are swept away to the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas (on a private jet) by their parents — because they just felt like it. Originally they're bummed over missing school break in Hawaii with their friends (a real letdown), but ultimately turn around after getting their own suite and true *independence*. It's essentially the early '00s, fictional version of the Kardashians.
7. Double, Double, Toil and Trouble (1993)
'90s Halloween-themed classics like Halloweentown and Hocus Pocus have perhaps overshadowed this flick all these years. But Double, Double is still great. Before the twins were jet-setting across the world and meeting questionably good-looking guys everywhere they went, they were saving their family's business and getting witchy while doing so — all at the age of seven. Things get particularly spooky in the Halloween spirit, and don't forget the Full House references and Cloris Leachmans.
8. You're Invited to Mary-Kate & Ashley's Costume Party (1998)
Consider this one a throwback within a throwback. Young Mary-Kate and Ashley (questionably) sing their way through the decades after going through their mom's stuff. From the psychedelic '60s to the rockin' '80s, the two youngsters pay tribute to pop culture game-changers like Saturday Night Fever and Madonna. The songs are catchy, the costumes are cliche, and it's all super cheesy and addictive fun.
9. Winning London (2001)
The plot in Winning London is still not likely for the average teenager to experience, but it's at least a bit more tangible. The girls are invited to London as part of their Model UN team for an international competition. Although they're a bit older, the girls are up to their usual shenanigans and rule-breaking ways. But this time, there are a few familiar faces and Mary-Kate (arguably) gets the hotter guy for once. Overall, it's still unrealistic, still fun, still entertaining.
If only Netflix was listening right about now.