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At The Movies With Peter Clease: Grease Sing-A-Long

"Grease" begins at a beach, with the tide churning the sand:--a most perfect place for conversation; and for word to progress and break into song. Danny's there. Sandy, too.


"Grease" begins at a beach, with the tide churning the sand:--a most perfect place for conversation; and for word to progress and break into song.

Danny's there. Sandy, too. No one else, however, joins them, nor makes sand-castles, and there are many to be made.

You see, it seems that the couple's tendency to spew random love lyrics, usually very damp, conversationally, has ghosted the mood at the beach. This generation, as it is, is and lives in a cynical notion, and no singing and no laughing and no fun is permitted. No singing!--: "Just build your damn sand-castle!"

But--what's this?--what is that: lyrics? So many lyrics, lyrics and lyrics, pink and pink, lyrics and lyrics, flying at the screen!

Why-yi-yi-yi?

Oh, why?--; oh, why are there lyrics flying at the screen? I guess, perhaps, that this is a sign of our current intelligence; a sign that we are all going deaf (although, our reading and interpretations skills are at full zenith) and this requires lyrical subtitles. Next time, the film will come with a pair of glasses--: it will, promises to, deepen the wording, which seems impressive, 'til it's discovered that words are printed on the lenses.

Of course, this is minor, distracting at worst, doing little to the overall appeal of the film, itself. And as a film, "Grease," a favourite of musical film fans, reworks, succeeds, in its humour--but while the product does maintain a theatricality, it fails in its high ambitions--:--it fails in its constant plays towards satire;--more pressingly, it fails its characters, re: they have no depth or even breathe; they are all completely stereotypes.
However, even so, this also plays to the classic's strengths; it may box in it characters; it may overtly, wrongly, shorten their arcs;--but even so, it is lush and speedy. Musically, the film is full of hum music, but no great music, but non-great music that seems, in the moment, like great music. And on a narrative level, the film is very traditional, as most musicals; yet, despite this, still it interests.

Why-yi-yi-yi?--: because its characters--damn the idealists!--exploit their interest with a likability and benefit from speedy plotting.

After "summer nights," Danny (John Travolta) re-meets Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) in high school. Travolta, who woos his co, is excellent, and the best performer of his cast-mates, whereas Newton-John is the best vocalist. There are also a number of side plots--beauty school, image, pregnancy, dance steps, racing--and they all eventually lead to Danny and Sandy flying through the sky.

They do not crash to the ground, but I've imagined such, and I find it meditative;--the more realistic ending;--however, I'm sure the song would go on, as it should.

4 out of 5 popcorns.