If you don't like this, we can't be friends.
An Exercise In Nonsense
Tells a fascinating and unsettling true story, and does so well, without pretending to have all the answers.
Unshakable, witty and deeply felt, the film will be paying emotional dividends for a long, long time.
When Grease first came out on the same day as Jaws 2 nearly 40 years ago, it broke records for a big budget musical on opening weekend at the box office yet it landed in 2nd place to the shark sequel. Luckily, Grease went on to become the most profitable film of that year and became the most popular musical film of all time, a record that it broke from Sound of Music which has been broken by Chicago (Oscar winner for best picture), and Disney's live action remake of Beauty and the Beast. A sequel was soon comissioned in 1982, and sadly it didn't do well as it was released on the same day as E.T. That year, Grease would come out on home video for the first time, with some minor changes from the theatrical release. In 1998, the film was reissued in a heavily remixed and digitally restored 35mm print to moderate success. It was also the first time that the movie was on DVD and then Blu-Ray. Thankfully this year, Paramount has gone back to the original 35mm negatives and the 70mm six track 4.2 audio to create the definitve Grease experience, which is now available on Itunes as well as DVD, Bluray, and 4k bluray. As for the movie itself, it's a classic. Based on a musical that ran on broadway and continued to run even when the movie was still in theatres, this movie tells the love story of two high school lovers in 1950s america. Both Olivia Newton John and John Travolta shine as well as Didi Cohn and others. Even though the movie is rated PG it's more aimed at teens than kids.
A shallow, accessible studio concoction which had the right songs, the right stars and the right 'feel good' vibe AT THE TIME for the comfortable, uncritical (mainly) white, middle-class audience that it was expressly made for and hyped to in the late 70's. As a light, frothy, inconsequential film which thoroughly entertained its undemanding demographic audience, trading on the vibe & success of Happy Days and Saturday Night Fever in particular, it was a marketer's dream. The film does not stand up to any sort of critical scrutiny, but we must remember it was never meant to. Phony situations, lazy plotting, forced tension, pretentious drama and most of all a naive and ignorant knowledge of teenage culture at the time combine to make this the perfect 'false nostalgia' film (ie. a clever lie) - we are drawn in to pining for a guilt-free innocent past that never existed. 'Grease' treats its characters and 'story line' in a camp, jokey way without ever taking the leap into satire, which would have made for a much better film. Rizzo's persona & worldly cynicism is what a better film might have explored; this is why she feels like the most authentic character in this.
The filmmakers treat the story's participants as silly, which undercuts any kind of believable tenderness and tension between the main characters, so any attempt at meaningfully exploring what 'real' teenagers actually go through (peer group pressure, finding identity, discovering romance, breaking up, making up) is lost.
What's left? 'Grease' is primarily a catchy soundtrack over which pretty, innocent, meaningless pictures and story are laid - you are in effect 'watching' the soundtrack, like an extended MTV-style music clip, which this film helped usher in via 80's pop culture.
Do you want something better, still entertaining and with good songs, but also with believable drama? Watch 'American Graffiti', or even better, find "American Hot Wax'' and marvel at what a truly good filmmaker did with similar source material. '..Wax' was my 'Grease' of 1978; a better made, gritty, knowing and believable film......that's why it found a very limited audience. Enough said !!!
GreaseGrease is a fresh script that came out of this bubbly and gay bakery that feeds and fulfils each and every need of the youngster and if not anything the songs definitely has to work.
This is a romantic comedy musical film that was released in 1978, but is set in 1958 in Los Angeles.The film is well-written and well-acted, with good song-and-dance routines. Its main fault is that many of the high school pupils are played by people who were well into their twenties or even their thirties and don't pass for the 17 or 18-year-olds that they're playing.