Sound-Bite Cinema: “Grease”

Note: Taking a stab at a micro movie review…


Opening shots of young lovers wooing each other in that manner of wooing known as “I’m on vacation and I’ll probably never see you again”.

Credits roll, featuring the first of 74 top-ten hits from a soundtrack that will rule the universe for at least a year. Grease is the word! (Said tagline is immediately stolen by personal lubricant manufacturers across the planet.)

Scenes in high school, circa not now. Be an athletic supporter!

Extensively-choreographed segment with folks harmonizing about getting nookie on summer nights. Highlight: Danny Travolta doing that “oohhh” bit, the one part of the song that everybody remembers. (You know you make the sound when you hear the song on the radio. Don’t lie.)

The young lovers meet again.

Sandy: “I’m still tingly!”

Danny: “Who are you?”

Slumber party featuring grown women making poor choices. Brusha, brusha, brusha. Hey, let’s pierce our ears with a rusty dagger we found in the bathroom.

Sandy: “Look at me, I’m thirty-three!”

More songs.

Big Dance in the Gym. Born to hand jive, baby.

Supposedly straight men work on a car whilst frolicking about and doing high kicks. (What’s up with the Saran wrap?)

Frenchy: “Boy, I sure did jack it up in my tinting class.” Frankie Avalon: “Go back to high school.” Worst advice, ever.

Rizzo gets pregnant and sings about it. Defective typewriter, much?

Danny gets confused about his feelings and warbles a tune whilst a mildy-pornographic advertisement for concession-stand hot dogs plays on the screen behind him at a drive-in theater.

Even more songs.

Something about a rivalry and pink slips and people driving cars really fast in a place that was not designed for cars to be driven really fast. The bad guy cheats, the good guy wins. It’s “Little House on the Prairie” with leather jackets and an open throttle. In more ways than one.

Sandy: “I know how to get my man back! I just need to change everything about me, have myself sown into an outfit that might impair my fertility, and smoke a cigarette.”

Danny: “You go, girl!” (Cue Danny biting his fist and flopping on the ground in uncontrolled passion, because that has happened absolutely never in history.)

Big Graduation Carnival on the football field, where the students magically know all the choreography for a line dance that will never happen again. We go together, like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong. This obscure Swahili mantra causes everyone to pair up romantically with one another whilst clutching yearbooks, because relationships in high school always last, especially if Lorenzo Lamas is in the choir.

Danny and Sandy, reunited and it feels so retro, hop in a conveniently nearby car, one that inexplicably has the capability to fly. This anomaly does not stop any of the singing, but it does convince the producers to eventually greenlight an abysmal sequel, one featuring Michelle Pfeiffer and none of the charm of the original.



Note, Part II: The opening photo is just a random thing that I used because I couldn’t find anything in my archives that was more appropriate. (To be fair, I only spent about three seconds poking around and quickly got over it, which reminds me of my college days.) Trivia: When I was 13, my mother went into labor with my youngest sister, a funfest that lasted 36 hours. As a distraction, one of my aunts took all of us young uns to see this movie whilst Mom hyperventilated and grunted and spontaneously spoke Swahili…


16 replies »

  1. *Its little house on the prairie with leather jackets and an open throttle* … the bliss of your wordage. Even though I am presently in Marcolès freezing at 8 in the morning in a house that has no heating and facilities that would make Travolta go Oh oh oh oh in a very different way, I am guffawing my finest. And that is to be celebrated. Bravo maestro, even the postscript ticked all the boxes my snortometer needs for activation to occur.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love it! Grease is a childhood favourite. I know all the words to songs off by heart (I shout this information loudly and proudly for all to hear)and it is a film I never get tired of watching. It’s such good fun.

    When me and my friends were starting high school, we used to watch this film at parties, sing the songs and act out the parts. Some of us were convinced that our last day at high school would be like the end of this film. How wrong we were there LOL. No fairground rides and mass singalongs for us.

    I think I wore out my video of Grease with the amount of times I watched it.
    Good times. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve watched this movie at least 476 billion times, give or take a few. I know it has some astoundingly unrealistic bits, but it always makes me smile and I belt out the songs every time, much to the chagrin of anyone in a five-mile radius. It’s just a feel-good thing. And yes, this came out just before I entered high school, so my friends and I were greatly disappointed to discover that there was no spontaneous dancing at Broken Arrow High. Still, we survived somehow… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I heard it said once of “Grease” that “the way to get your man is to become a total slut, throwing off every moral and innocent way that you ever had.” It appeared to be true too. *blink*. Grease was THE word indeed, that’s the year I graduated high school, when that movie came out. Gave me a rather unrealistic view of how my life would go (not entirely but bits and pieces)… Danny Zucco (sp??) had begun to change, Sandy’s influence (for the good my child … in the voice of Glinda THE GOOD) had worked. So it was a bit sad to the older me to note she thought the va-va would ensure he was ‘hers’. And for a short time it probably did. I asked someone who went to school in the 50s (the implied time frame for Grease) if things were like that back then and she said “Nah. When does tinseltown EVER get it right?” Thank you for the Stroll down Memory Lane, with editing. Now I have to go croon “There are Worse Things I Could Do”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tinseltown never gets it right or it wouldn’t be Tinseltown. And the messages this movie conveys are not very positive and uplifting in the long run. Still and all, when I crave fluff and escapism, I go back to Rydell High and wait for the opening notes that cue another song. Yes, there are worse things I could do, and I’ve done most of them…


  4. No offense to anyone who leaves a comment declaring Grease is their favorite movie of all time, but I’ve always wondered about people who claim Grease is their favorite movie of all time. Love your run through of it, as it hits all my issues with the musical perfectly.
    Especially: “I know how to get my man back! I just need to change everything about me…” — THAT, THAT RIGHT THERE!!! Mothers, educate your daughters! Lecture your sons!
    Also. Flying cars. So weird.

    Liked by 1 person

    • All the wrong messages, countered by a soundtrack that helps you look the other way, which is still a relevant encapsulation of modern society. Despite that, this IS one of my favorite movies. It came out at a time when I woefully yearned for escapism, and I touch that stone every time I watch it…

      Liked by 1 person

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