John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John Record a New Classic of Christmas Camp

Slate's Culture Blog
Dec. 5 2012 5:02 PM

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John Record a New Classic of Christmas Camp

Oliva_and_John
Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta cry together watching It's a Wonderful Life in their new holiday tune, "I Think You Might Like It"

When Rebecca Black’s song “Friday” went viral, it generated sharp outbursts of protest because, as Nina Rastogi wrote for Brow Beat, it is “a glaring example of What's Wrong With America Today.” By starring in a music video under the conceit of already-established pop stardom, Black revealed herself (and her parents) as “artistically bankrupt” and “déclassé.” But those labels didn’t stop a wave of copycat videos in Black’s wake, including the new holiday abomination “It’s Thanksgiving.”

So what happens when the stars of Grease, one of the most beloved (and raunchyl) musical films of all time, craft an equally terrible song about an even more popular event in the calendar year? Well, you get all the cringe-inducing pleasures of Black’s song—“subpar production values, grating hooks and extraordinarily stupid lyrics,” to quote Rolling Stone—along with the schadenfreude one feels when people who should know better produce something truly awful. “I Think You Might Like It,” the first release from Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta’s impending Christmas album, This Christmas, may just be a camp classic.

The song has a country inflection, with a noticeable twang in their voices and line-dancing between the video’s various scenes of reunion. Then there are awkward cameos from family and friends—as the Washington Post already noted, Kelly Preston’s appearance in a recurring airport sequence juxtaposes awkwardly with Newton-John and Travolta’s canoodling in a turquoise convertible.

Written by “You’re The One That I Want” scribe John Farrar—the album’s press release states the holiday song is illogically its sequel—the song includes such sloppily rhymed lyrics as: “And then we’re gonna hide away / Making love all night / And we can cry tomorrow / Watching It’s a Wonderful Life." In case you need a visual, the video includes point-of-view shots of the classic Frank Capra film—after showing the former co-stars crooning in matching crimson loungewear with tissues before the television.

While we cannot promise that you will actually like the song or the video, we do promise that it is hard to look away.