While Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen may no longer act, we’ll always have Paris—Passport to Paris that is, their 1999 direct-to-VHS film that sent the super-famous then-teens to Paris in one of their most beloved movies.
P to P was a major milestone in the Olsen twins film universe as it was their first international adventure and featured their first on-screen kisses. What better place for the seminal moment than the City of Love, right? For Olsen-philes, it’s a big freakin’ deal. And it turns 20 on Nov. 9, meaning that it can legally drink in France and we just felt like we were slapping in the face by the cold hand of time.
In honor of Passport to Paris‘ birth, we couldn’t help but to reminisce about the days we spent watching their masterpieces on VHS, while reading Mary-Kate and Ashley Magazine (Gone too soon!) and begging our parents to let us go on those celebrity cruises they always were on. JK, we totally still watch them to this very day.
But which direct-to-video Olsen twin joint is the best? We set out to answer that formidable question.
So, without further ado, here’s the official ranking of the Olsen twins’ 14 cinematic adventures, spanning from the early ’90s to the mid-aughts and find out where Passport to Paris stands.
(No, all of the films from the wide and vast You’re Invited series canon were not included in this list. That’s another ranking for another time…)
THE WORST: NO. 14: Switching Goals
To quote one of their far superior films, Switching Goals was so “S&C.” (Snooze and cruise.)
Familiar Face: Michael Cera as a brat. On brand?
NO. 13: How the West Was Fun
But was it really THAT fun? Of all the Olsens’ films, this one, set on a dude ranch, is the most forgettable. Sorry, you are not the cute one.
Familiar Face: Elizabeth Olsen, the twins’ little sis-turned-Avenger, as a girl in a car. Yep.
Dualstar Entertainment Group
NO. 12: Getting There
Sweet 16 and licensed to drive…us to boredom.
Familiar Face: Billy Aaron Brown…’cause he was in Holiday in the Sun. Double-dipping!
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NO. 11: When in Rome
Listen, we don’t expect believability when we pop in an Olsen Twins’ straight-to-VHS, but the CEO of a major company taking two of his (16-year-old!) interns on a vacation after they’ve been fired and then giving them free reign over the biggest event of the year? WE ARE OFFENDED, DUALSTAR. We deserved better and Rome deserved better.
Familiar Face: Like, no one.
NO. 10: New York Minute
The Olsen Twins’ final film together actually made it to theaters…and promptly crashed and burned. Like harder than a plane crash on a Shonda Rhimes show. Still, there was something so charmingly ridiculous about the movie, but we’re not sure if it was intentionally bad or, like, bad-bad. Whatever, we still paid to see it. And would do so again.
Familiar Face: Supernatural star Jared Padalecki. Schitt’s Creek’s Eugene Levy. Andy Richter. Darrell Hammond. Drew Pinsky. Jack Osbourne. Oh, and their Full House dad Bob Saget as himself. So much cringing. So little time.
NO. 9: The Challenge
Mary-Kate and Ashley’s final straight-to-DVD film definitely wasn’t their best, but it gets bumped up a few spots thanks to its seriously epic final scene, which found many of their former on-screen love interests returning and fighting over them. While the boys argue, MK&A run down the beach. “You know, Ash, boys will come and go, but we’ll always have each other,” Mary-Kate says, while Ashley adds, “And that’s not just in a movie.” OMG, CURSES ON OUR PARENTS FOREVER FOR NOT GIVING US A TWIN SISTER.
Familiar Face: Sons of Anarchy star Theo Rossi played the girls’ teammate who almost blew the whole thing because he was too busy day-dreaming about his grandmother’s meatballs. Classic.
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NO. 8: To Grandmother’s House We Go
Such a solid movie to watch around Christmastime, but as far as holiday-themed Olsen outings, it just doesn’t hold up to the next film on our list…
Familiar Face: Rhea Perlman and Jerry Van Dyke as the girls’ accidental kidnappers. They came for the mail truck, left with baby billionaires.
Warner Bros. Television
NO. 7: Double, Double Toil and Trouble
One of our favorite movies to watch around Halloween, this one was actually kind of messed up when you really think about it for longer than five seconds. They spend the entire movie with a grave-digger, a homeless man and a professional clown. #SquadGoals or To Catch a Predator‘s dream episode?
Familiar Face: Cloris Leachman…playing Cloris Leachman, basically. JK, she played evil aunt Agatha and sweet, sweet Aunt Sofia. Plus, Will & Grace‘s Eric McCormack as their dad.
NO. 6: Winning London
This film is so important in the MK&A mythology because it was the first time they FRENCH-KISSED their love interests. Not Michelle Tanner, not yet fashion moguls, Winning London is the middle of the Olsen twins’ long Hollywood journey. Plus, we’re pretty sure Model UN memberships increased by at least 15 percent after this one. See? Important!
Familiar Face: Jesse Spencer, who later went on to star in House and Chicago Fire. But we bet he’s probably approached more about his work as James, a freakin’ British lord who wooed MK.
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NO. 5: Our Lips Are Sealed
The twins are forced to head down under, learn how to surf and eat Vegemite* after witnessing a crime, placing them in witness protection. Does it make sense? Not at all. But hey, any excuse for a free trip to Australia!
* = it was totally Nutella.
Familiar Face: Jason Clarke, who’s since starred in Zero Dark Thirty, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and a million other prestige movies, was one of the girls’ villains-turned-BFFs (who they put make-up on), and Willie Garson was their long-suffering witness protection liaison.
NO. 4: Billboard Dad
Much like the dad they pimp out to the single ladies of Venice, this movie was COOL TO THE MAX. And taught us that you can scramble eggs in a Ziploc bag.
Familiar Face: Tom Amandes as THE Billboard Dad, duh! Also, Pretty Little Liars star Troian Bellisario was type-cast as one of their BFFs because she was their BFF in real-life.
NO. 3: Passport to Paris
The girls’ first international adventure also featured their first on-screen kisses. Such a major milestone in their filmography. Plus, baguettes and McDonald’s french fries leading a revolution at the embassy!
Familiar Face: Gregory Peck‘s grandson Ethan Peck, who was Mary-Kate’s first on-screen (and off-screen) kiss ever. NBD.
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NO. 2: It Takes Two
You can keep The Parent Trap, we’ll take the Olsens’ version of the whole twins-switch-places-to-play-matchmakers trope anyday, thank you very much. It just gives us that can’t-eat, can’t-sleep, reach-for-the-stars, over-the-fence, World Series kind of feeling.
Also, the best part of this movie (food fight aside) is that there is ZERO explanation behind how the twins were separated at birth. And no one knew.
Familiar Face: Oh, you know, just STEVE GUTTENBERG and KIRSTIE ALLEY as the best fictional parental figures ever.
THE BEST: NO 1.: Holiday in the Sun
Best location: The Bahamas! Best boy: Jordan Landers 4eva! Best outfits: the swimsuits! The sundresses! Best plot: The girls spend the night in jail in the Bahamas because of a guy who runs a Sea-Doo shack! Holiday in the Sun is the ultimate teen fantasy…and the ultimate MK&A movie.
Familiar Faces: Megan Fox as the villainous Brianna Wallace, as in the Wallace Department store Wallaces. And Austin Nichols, he of One Tree Hill and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fame, was MK’s bug-obsessed stalker/love interest.
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