Olivia Newton-John in 'Xanadu'Sunday marks the 30th anniversary of the release of 'Xanadu,' the fantasy musical starring Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly that in many ways symbolized the glittery excesses of the late '70s. Directed by Robert Greenwald (who recently helmed several hard-hitting documentaries), 'Xanadu' was inspired by the '70s roller-disco craze and featured eye-boggling singin'/dancin'/skatin' scenes to music by Electric Light Orchestra, among other artists.

While Newton-John was following up the mega-successful 'Grease,' legendary hoofer Kelly was re-entering his movie-musical career after a long hiatus. The movie received mixed reviews and was a box office bomb, though its soundtrack would spawn several hits. Post-'Xanadu,' both stars would virtually abandon Hollywood, with Newton-John concentrating on music (she'd release the double-platinum 'Physical' LP the next year).

So, how does the movie hold up today? Has time been kind, or is it even cheesier than we remembered?

Thanks to endearing performances by its cast, healthy doses of camp, and general air of playfulness, the movie is surprisingly entertaining, especially if you have any nostalgia for the time period. It may be slight, silly and stylistically muddled, but in these cynical days 'Xanadu' comes off as, well, refreshing. And who doesn't enjoy nicely aged cheese?
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