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 sewn 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.


Original Ending Note: 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…

New Ending Note: Previously published, no changes made. I briefly flirted with this concept and format several years ago, but I only put out a handful of entries before I got distracted (no surprise, if you know me) and forgot all about it. I’m thinking of reviving this mess, but I’m not sure what movie to do next. It needs to be a flick that most people have seen at least once. Any suggestions? Please pontificate in the comments…

35 replies »

  1. Oh how I wanted my friends & I to sport matching pink polyester jackets, get a hickey from Kenickie, moon the Vice Principal, inappropriately make out with the much-older local, cable-access V.J. and change everything I liked about myself just for the opportunity to dance with a d-bag in a funhouse at the local carnival! What can I say? got chills just reading this (and they’re multiplying).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, that’s a good one! I’ve certainly seen the movie enough times to make a good run at it, especially if I tinker with the lyrics in “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”. I’ll see what I can do…


  2. Those who can spontaneously burst into perfectly choreographed song and dance have always intrigued me. But they do continue to reinforce the realisation that I’m a terrible underachiever who’s likely incapable of any sort of ram-a-lam-a-ding-dong. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not sure what movie to do next. It needs to be a flick that most people have seen at least once. Any suggestions? Please pontificate in the comments…

    How about Star Wars? (Although I do still encounter the odd person who’s never seen it.)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A perfect take! And yeah what’s with the female having to totally change her look and values and take up smoking? Why weren’t we females offended back then? But then again isn’t every fairy tale offending by today’s standards? What’s your take on The Shining with Jack Nicholson . I could certainly use an explanation of that one.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Right? The women almost always get the short end of the stick in movies and life, pun fully intended.

      But “The Shining” is a perfect suggestion. I have been a huge Stephen King fan since way back, and I have a love/hate relationship with director Stanley Kubrick’s fascinating-but-not-satisfying vision of “The Shining”. This could be a goldmine of Bonnywood sarcasm…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ‘But, ooh, those summer rites’ Sorry ‘butt…. ooh those summer niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiyyyYYYiIIIIIIIIITES.’ Yep, perfectly skewered. (love the snark of ‘look at me, I’m 33.’) It has become an icon though, and yet I’m sure Tarantino had mile-wide smirk when casting ‘Pulp Fiction.’
    How about doing a real cutting job on- and this is a personal fave of mine, but it SO needs Boneywoodising- ‘It’s A Wunnerful Life?’ By George, I… I… I…aw shucks, I would lo… lo… love that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I’m quite sure Tarantino, with his perverse worship/desecration of pop culture, got a bit aroused when he snagged Travolta for “Pulp”.

      And yes, I’ve duly noted your thoughts on “It’s a Wonderful Life”, captured over the years on both of our blogs. (And we’re on the same page.) Skewering that beloved mess in just the right way would be tricky, but I just might be able to pull it off…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A few years ago, three of my grandchildren performed in Grease four times at the XXX Root Beer Drive-In that has survived in Issaquah, Washington, all these years. The audience included random customers at peak times. They watched the original movie video practically every day for over a month. You will be surprised to learn that Sally Seahawk was a character and Bill Gates was referenced in dialogue in this local version.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. When I was young, I loved Grease, but as I got older, the misogyny really got to me. But still, I love your take on it, so keep doing this kind of thing–can you tackle Dirty Dancing next?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, that misogyny is stamped all over the movies from… well, frankly, any time period, including today. (Sad, but true.) It would be easy to say “well, we didn’t know any better, then”, but we did. At least the decent people did, in some way, a discomfort with the goings-on that we weren’t sure how to vocalize just yet…

      And it looks like “Dirty Dancing” is going on the list, as you’re not the first to suggest such. It should be a fun lark, if I ever get my ass around to writing the review… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh you gotta do the Molly Ringwald movies! And Ferris Bueler

    Ahh… just do ALLLL the 80s movies

    Oh, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding!

    More movies are clamoring in my noggin, let me know if you run out of suggestions 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re on to something here, suggesting an “80s” theme. There were some really divergent movies during that time period. I could get tons of posts out of just the John Hughes movies, alone. Of course, it might take me months to do a write-up on all the relevant targets, but at least it gives me some ideas for the dry days when I can’t think of anything fresh to write… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I definitely liked that movie the first time I saw it. And don’t say that Sandy did all the changing for Danny when he tried out for every sport in the school and failed miserably at all of them. Why do people forget that part? Of course the producers took a hit Broadway show, hired two star performers who had nothing to do with the show, gave them a bunch of new songs, and hid the original stage numbers in the background of the soundtrack. I have the two-disc album from the movie, and the best songs are definitely not on side one.
    Anyhow, I just saw the real 1950s high school scene in “Rebel Without a Cause” with James Dean, Natalie Wood, and Thurston Howell III looking lovely in a frilly apron. Perhaps you can rewrite the script to feature my pet cat from thirty years ago, whom we described as a rebel without his claws. J.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I know, I’m generally alone on this one but Grease is confusing and pointless. Even Xanado is even better than that! Please review a good one. Pretty please? Like Dirty Dancing or Flashdance!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, there are some folks who are not fond of “Grease”, and that’s okay. We all see things in different ways… 😉

      I’m still working on the next new installment, though I do have a few older ones I could share. “Flashdance” was one of my favorite movies in high school, so I’m sure that one will turn up eventually, and based on the comments so far, it’s pretty clear that I simply MUST do “Dirty Dancing”. Stay tuned!

      Liked by 1 person

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