Director: Randal Kleiser
Writer/s: Jim Jacobs, Warren Casey (original musical), Bronte Woodard (screenplay), Allan Carr (adaptation)
Starring: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway, Didi Conn, and more.
Requested Review from Kelly Sinagra!
Ah yes, so I have been requested to tackle the classic musical that is “Grease”. “Grease” is more than just a musical. It is more than a film. To some, it is a lifestyle. The film is at a point in the entertainment world that just about everyone knows about “Grease”. Whether they have seen it or not, like it or not, or have an interest in it or not, the world knows “Grease” and that says something to its status. As for myself, until I caught the film at my local theater playing it for the 40th anniversary, I had only seen bits of the film. My early expectations were that I would enjoy the film at the least due to my interest in musicals but now it is time for an Oberrating!
“Good girl Sandy and greaser Danny fell in love over the summer. When they unexpectedly discover they’re now in the same high school, will they be able to rekindle their romance?”
Right out of the gate, “Grease” came out and was jamming and had me going along with it. With the self-titled track “Grease” sung by the legend Frankie Valli, I had this track stuck in my head throughout the film despite my liking (or disliking) of songs being performed during the film. On that note, this being my first full run through the film. I was not sold on every song. A handful were notable and stuck with me but a solid other handful were lackluster. Regardless, “Grease” is a musical that has had its audiences rocking for 40 years and it was such a joy to watch in a full theater as people of all ages were dancing in their seats.
Now focusing on the film structure of “Grease”. I had a bit of trouble following along and staying invested. Right after my jam session to Frankie Valli, the film continued in typical fashion, which I was down for. However, after a good bit of intro exposition, the film felt more like a mini series than a film. It broke into different events spanning across the school year within the film rather than being a linear story line. I was invested up until about an hour then I found myself falling off the tracks. Add in a couple songs I did not like and a bit too much focus on some characters I had zero interest in (Hi, Rizzo) and you have a formula that does not have me in it what-so-ever.
“Grease” is a golden bit of entertainment in the archives of movie musicals. It is evident that TV shows, musicals, movie musicals, and so many more forms of entertainment have been influenced by the legend that is “Grease”. There is no denying the fun that is this film, even in my eyes. With a number of legendary tracks in its arsenal, they are not done any justice until you have seen the performances tagged to them. Travolta, Newton-John, and the whole lot of them are an utter joy to watch. These performances have moved generations. Despite my rating, I confidently recognize “Grease” as the legend it has always been and as one of the golden standards for musicals.