G is for Grease
No, not the yucky stuff in fried food that sticks to your arteries and makes your stomach expand. The other Grease. Ya know, the one with a bunch of 30-somethings pretending to be high school students, dancing and singing their way through a semester at Rydell High.
I'm going to go with the assumption that everyone on earth has seen this film at least once in their life (or, like me, somewhere around 697 times). However, if you've been living under a rock and have somehow failed to make time to see it, here's the short version:
Guy (Danny) and girl (Sandy) meet on vacation at the beach and fall madly in love. In front of crashing waves, they pledge their love and bid each other adieu before leaving for their respective homes. Cue cool animated movie intro with music. Fade out to Rydell High, where Danny is the leader of the T-Birds, the coolest cats in town. They even have the black leather jackets to prove it. Their counterparts are the Pink Ladies. In an odd coincidence, Sandy has just moved to town and finds that Danny is in fact not the sweet, gentlemanly hunk she fell in love with, but a fake and a phony and she wished she'd never laid eyes on him.
Cue dating and jealousy and sleepovers with singing and smoking and more dating and a slut named Cha-Cha and a really ugly, pockmark-faced dude who has it in for Danny and the T-Birds - especially Danny's best bud Kenickie (Jeff Conway - my favorite character in this film). There's a dance-off and some mooning, more singing and dancing, a pregnancy scare, pink hair (which leads to a vision of singing beehive-haired girls with Frankie Avalon), a car race and, finally, a resolution which leads to the fantastic ending to the movie, filled with more singing and dancing, lots of black leather, a carnival and a flying car.
The thing I love the most about Grease is that it is a film that has been passed on for generations. My mom
loved this film when it came out, which she passed on to me, which I have passed on to my daughters who now love it, too. I know that someday they'll pass it on to their kids, and the magic will continue.
I love the songs. Every single one. Even the drive-in song, which is admittedly really bad. I don't care, I still sing it at the top of my lungs. "Sandy.....can't you see....I'm in misery.....Why-e-y-e-y-e-yyyyy. Oh, Sandy."
I HATE Cha-Cha. I always get angry at Danny for dancing with her. Every time. He's too cool for her.
I love Frenchie and Jan, and how awkward and weird they are. I LOVE the school secretary, Blanche, and how she constantly annoys the principal. I love the football coach and his description of how the team is going to beat their opposition at the pep rally (Blanche is also funny in that scene).
As a kid, what I loved about Grease was how these people were all friends, and it didn't matter that they fought and went out and broke up and had all of these problems, at the end of the day, they went to the carnival and sang about going together like wham-balam-abama, dinky-dingy-dong. Friends forever.
On a downside, I was super disappointed when I reached high school and there weren't any T-Birds or Pink Ladies, and nobody sang about their feelings or had dance-offs. Bummer.
So, people, the next time you're hanging with your pals, break into song and see if they'll join you. If not, there's always flying cars....