Sunday, April 12, 2015

Grease (1978)

Bad boy Danny has a summer fling with good girl Sandy, but things get awkward when she shows up at his high school for the senior year.

Many years ago I saw Grease in the theater (do the math) and while this wasn't exactly in my wheelhouse, I really enjoyed it. Recently at my son's Middle School talent show, the choir did a medley of Grease songs (the six boys were all lip syncing). I got a hankerin' to see the old flick, so a few days later I tied my three boys to chairs and had their eyes forced open ala Clockwork Orange, and cranked up the old Netflix. One of them liked it. Kinda.

A few observations. Vince Fontaine's hands were all over Marty Maraschino, not that I blame him much. She played Elaine on Soap. Nice to see old friend Joan Blondell in a small roll. Jeff Conaway was supposed to sing Greased Lightening, but Travolta pulled rank. At least he got to marry Olivia's big sister. For a little while.

Elvis, who was offered the part of the guardian angel, was referenced in Rizzo's Sandra D song. The original stage play referenced Sal Mineo (Rebel Without a Cause) but because he was murdered in 1976 they changed the line to reference Presley. The day the scene was filmed, Elvis died. And so it goes.

My boys had the same reaction to the big reveal as I did some 37 years earlier. We liked the before Sandy. The message seems because Danny couldn't NOT be a douchebag, she had to transform into a skank. That's quite depressing if you think about it.

There is no getting around it. Grease is a goofy-ass film. But the music is catchy, the performances spot on, and the choreography excellent. Despite any knocks I can give it, it's guaranteed to please. Well, one out of three boys, anyhow. AMRU 4.
"Peachy keen, jellybean."

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