All my life, there was no one I idolized more than Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. A fan since “Full House,” and an even bigger fan since their first video (aptly titled “Our First Video”), whenever a new movie of theirs would hit the shelves, it felt like my birthday and Hanukkah rolled into one. My mother and I would act on our tradition of calling the local Wal-Mart to make sure it was in stock and then we’d immediately drive over there to pick it up (thanks, Mom!). That day and the days that followed were devoted to watching the new masterpiece on repeat.
Which is all to say, I know what I’m talking about when I present this official ranking of every Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen TV, theatrical, and straight-to-VHS feature film releases. Without further ado:
14. Switching Goals (1999)
This one came out during that time when they were always playing opposites: Ashley as a girly-girl, Mary-Kate as a tomboy. They switch places, crush on boys, and play soccer. Easy to forget.
13. When in Rome (2002)
The fashion was admirable, but that’s about the only praise this movie deserves. The girls are working a summer internship in Rome, get fired, and then rehired? There’s a scene where they save the day with roller-skates, and I think that’s all you need to know.
12. Getting There (2002)
Mary-Kate and Ashley have just gotten their licenses and they’re off to see the Olympic Winter games with their friends. However, they run into a few mishaps along the way, like their brand new car getting stolen, which you’d think would be a big deal, but hey, they’ll just take a plane instead!
Sometimes the actors that play their friends in the movies really bring the watch-ability down, and this is one of those times.
11. Billboard Dad (1998)
This is the first of the straight-to-VHS movies released. They play matchmaker, out to set up their single father by placing a singles ad for him on a billboard (hence the title). Kinda dull to be honest with you.
10. Our Lips Are Sealed (2000)
Mary-Kate and Ashley play your average teenagers until they get caught up in a jewel heist that forces them into the witness protection program. Their new home is Sydney, Australia but little do they know, they’ve been followed and must defeat two new assassins. This one starts off good, but ends up way too cheesy to endure too many re-watches.
9. New York Minute (2004)
Mary-Kate and Ashley’s last movie together, and their second theatrical release. There was a ton of hype for this one, but alas, it bombed. It was their version of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” taking place over one day in New York City. Ashley plays a scholarly uptight overachiever, and Mary-Kate blows off school every chance she gets, this time for a Simple Plan (haha, remember them?) video shoot. Eugene Levy also stars at a time when it was a selling point to have Eugene Levy in your movie.
8. The Challenge (2003)
The last of their TV movies. I think this one is higher on my list than most people’s (other people have these lists, right?), but I really liked it. The twins play estranged siblings who get cast on a Survivor-esque reality show, unaware that the other one is going to be there. Embarrassing fact: I bought Converse sneakers after seeing them wear the shoes in this movie.
7. Double, Double, Toil, and Trouble (1993)
Definitely the strangest Mary-Kate and Ashley movie. They run off to their mean Aunt Agatha’s mansion to break a spell and free their nice Aunt Sophia (both aunts played by Cloris Leachman). They run into some odd people along the way and learn a lesson about good vs. evil. But most importantly, if you tell your twin sister that you love her, you can break any spell.
6. How The West Was Fun (1994)
I really enjoyed this one as a kid. They help save the ranch where their deceased mother grew up from turning into a cheesy amusement park. I begged my mom to let us vacation on a ranch after this, and she said no.
5. Passport to Paris (1999)
The twins are sent to Paris to spend time with their grandfather who works in the American embassy, but instead they just want to act like teenagers and eat McDonald’s. The one where they have their first on-screen kiss!
4. To Grandmother’s House We Go (1992)
The very first of the Mary-Kate and Ashley movies and an instant classic. The twins decide to give their stressed, single mother a break, so they run off to their grandmother’s house, except that they’re 6 and don’t know how to get there. Along the way, they’re kidnapped by two senior robbers (perfectly played by Rhea Perlman and Jerry Van Dyke) and held for ransom. They eventually (spoiler alert) make it to their grandmother’s house.
3. Holiday in the Sun (2001)
I refer to this movie as the one that’s mostly just music montages where the girls do fun activities in the Bahamas, but I still love it. They’re on vacation with their family and friends, but spend most of their time hanging out with the boys they’ve met. Mary-Kate falls for a real dimwit, but soon realizes her friend is the better choice. Ashley falls for a guy that she ends up having to rescue from jail. Megan Fox plays a mean girl before anyone knew who Megan Fox was. Great soundtrack.
2. Winning London (2001)
Probably the best plot for the straight-to-VHS collection, since it actually exists. The twins go to London to participate in the International Model UN Program and things get competitive. There’s a memorable scene in an air duct with Ashley and a cute guy.
1. It Takes Two (1995)
Their first theatrical release and I must say a very good movie that still holds up now. They play identical strangers and end up running into each other (literally) during a summer spent on the same lake. They decide to trade places after concocting a plan to get rid of an evil soon-to-be step-mother. It also stars Steve Guttenberg and Kirstie Alley, who I admit are pretty charming in this.