Doing things for the experience, both as a writer and an actor, means that I have to voluntarily jump into things I don’t expect to like. Grease is one of those things that everybody has seen and it gets brought up all the time, so it won’t do for me to not know what they’re referring to.
All that being said, I actually enjoyed it. First, I didn’t realize the movie was a musical, which was an interesting little plot twist for me when Travolta started signing. Especially since I didn’t even realize he could do that. Listening to the last song, I actually gave up and looked up whether or not he was actually singing because I thought the voice was way too high pitched for it to actually be him. Shows what I know.
But my favorite thing about the movie wasn’t the plot, or the songs, or anything like that. None of it was exceptionally clever, but hey, there’s a reason classics are classic. No, my favorite thing about Grease was that it so thoroughly described an era vastly different from ours. The fifties was quite a long time ago in regards to recent news, and this movie having been filmed in the late seventies helps that along quite a bit. The characters are so different from the people they would be if they had been in high school nowadays, and while some things never change, I for one am glad a lot has since then.
One thing this movie also does pretty well is that I can realistically believe that most of what happens actually could have happened in the past. I can believe all of the drama, the dance show, the car race, and everything in between, all happening in one year. After all, senior year has to be memorable.
This movie is a good classic because it holds a good majority of the tropes regarding the fifties. While it doesn’t have a whole lot of “housewives and sitcoms” and whatnot, there’s pretty much at least a nod at all the stereotypes that came out of that era.
So, after watching a lot of violent stuff lately (I just got through the new Bonnie & Clyde, which is basically just three hours of people getting shot,) it was a nice twist. That isn’t to say there’s no violence, but that it isn’t the focal point of the story. The plot is less “Man versus Man” and more “Man versus Himself” as most of the major characters are trying to figure out who they really want to be and what they’re trying to get out of life. It’s an accurate portrayal of a good portion of high school, I would say. There’s a lot of peer pressure and being pushed towards being the person society wants you to be or claims you already are.
My biggest problem with the movie is that it does not feel like “senior year of high school”. That is to say, I don’t believe a year has passed from the beginning to the end of the movie. It feels more like a month at most, with some weird, unstated time gaps in between. I also don’t believe some of the choices the characters made, but I would say that’s probably more of a script and director thing than an acting your role thing.
I give it a lightning bolt car decal out of ten.