During their peak in the late ’90s, The Olsen twins were arguably the most famous child actresses around, starring in widely known films such as It Takes Two, Billboard Dad, Passport to Paris, and Switching Goals as well as numerous direct-to-video movies. The twins also did their fair share of work in television, grabbing starring roles in beloved TV series such as So Little Time, Two of a Kind and animated series Mary-Kate and Ashley in Action!. With their long list of acting credits, along with their ownership of entertainment company Dualstar, its no wonder that the Olsen Twins were some of the wealthiest child stars of their generation.
The Olsen Twins absence from mainstream film and television for many years, along with their formal retirement from acting in 2012, have left many an Olsen fan nostalgic, particularly over their earlier work. Fortunately, streaming service Hulu took on the task of bringing back a few of Mary-Kate and Ashley’s most successful works so that die-hard fans can reminisce over their glory years over and over again. It’s not many, and it’s certainly not their entire back catalog, but these three fan-favorites are definitely worth a nostalgic re-watch. Let’s take a look at each of the Olsen Twin’s movies that are coming to Hulu on May 1.
3 Billboard Dad
In this 1998 classic, Ashley and Mary-Kate star as surfer Emily Tyler and her high-diver twin sister Tess respectively. Set in Los Angeles, California, this film follows the girls as they look to find their widowed Dad a girlfriend. To do so, they team up with their friend Cody to paint a gigantic advertisement on a billboard looming over Sunset Boulevard for everyone to see (hence the title of the film).
Surprisingly enough, this billboard attracts the attention of many women throughout the city, who answer the twins’ call by sending letters to their dad, Max, who himself is a talented artist. As chance would have it, Max decides to answer the letter of one woman, and this is the moment from when all the action ensues. The twins come across a range of more interesting characters including the lucky woman’s best friend, who may just yet be a better fit for Max, as well as her unbearable son and Max’s conniving business manager.
While not a critical success, this film is easy going with its fair share of laughs and zany interactions between characters. It is also family friendly, having received a “Family-Approved” rating from the Dove Foundation.
2 Passport To Paris
Released only a year after the above title, this film follows yet another set of twins, Melanie and Allyson Porter, who travel all the way to Paris for their Spring Break vacation. Here, their parents hope that the girls will learn to broaden their outlooks on life by spending time with their Grandpa Edward, the United States’ ambassador to France.
While the girls expected a thrilling trip with non-stop action, they were soon disappointed, with their Grandpa putting them in the care of his stern secretary Jeremy, who lives by a strict itinerary which includes only taking the girls to museums and fancy restaurants rather than exploring the city as they wished. To make matters worse, Melanie and Allyson must adhere to strict rules whilst living in their grandfather’s mansion, including not jumping on the bed and no loud music – and who wants that on Spring Break?
This lifestyle certainly does not sit well with the girls, who soon embark on their own adventure in what proves to be a trip of a lifetime, in which they befriend a beautiful French model, catch the eye of two charming French boys, and of course soak up the sights and sounds of the breathtaking city that is Paris.
This film was able to receive a better reception than that of Billboard Dad, and is an enjoyable thrill ride that all nostalgic Olsen twins fans can enjoy regardless of age.
1 Switching Goals
Released just a month after Passport to Paris, this film centers on yet another set of identical twins; which isn’t too surprising. After all, playing twins is pretty much the Olsen twins’ schtick! This film focuses on the Stanton sisters, who are incredibly different from one another. Sam is a tomboy and star soccer player while Emma is incredibly girly and loves fashion, however, Emma wishes that she too was good at sports like her sister. (The ’90s was definitely a fan of playing up the sports vs girly girl stereotypes.)
With the youth soccer league tournament underway, the girls’ dad Jerry is coach of the Hurricanes co-ed team, and picks Emma for this team due to pressure from his wife and the girls’ mother Denise. His selection of Emma allowed rival team, the Buzzards, to select Sam, much to Jerry’s dismay.
Jerry is not the only one disappointed at this outcome, however, as while Sam is disappointed to be joining a weaker team, Emma finds life incredibly difficult due to being under constant pressure from her father. For this reason, the girls switch places so that they can better their situations, with Sam learning to share the spotlight with others while Emma is afforded the chance to bond with her father more than ever before.
While the plot may seem somewhat cheesy, this is a charming and endearing film that surely captured the hearts of movie-goers who eventually became fans of the Olsen twins, and helped stir up the demand that prompted Hulu to come up with the decision to provide the above three films to their many subscribers today. Who doesn’t love a good twin-switch movie from time to time?
Here’s hoping that Hulu gets to stream a whole lot more of the Olsen twins’ ’90s classics soon.
NEXT: Ranked: All The Streaming Services In The U.S.