Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.


Travel with the cast of Grease back to Rydell High, a special institution for the musical education of slow but attractive 35-year-olds, in the magical year nineteen-hundred-fifty-seventy-eight. John Travolta, a boy from one side of the tracks, must win the hand of Olivia Newton-John, a girl from another. Those were, apparently, simpler times, because this sloppy, disjointed musical was a pretty big hit that year. Adapted from the most popular Broadway musical of its time, Grease drew audiences with the help of a '70s wave of '50s nostalgia. Now it's been reissued in a form pretty much unchanged from the one available for rental, allowing a whole new audience to see it in a much bigger and louder form than is available at home. People seeing Grease for the first time, or for the first time in a long time, might be disappointed; it doesn't even approach the first tier of movie musicals. The songs aren't great, the dancing is awkward, the plot is a string of silly excuses for songs, and the acting is ridiculous. Unless you were a 14-year-old girl at the time of its original release, or for some other reason weren't spending 1978 watching Star Wars for the 300th time, you probably won't really enjoy Grease. Of course, it'll do fine in re-release, owing to the current, convoluted '90s wave of '70s nostalgia for the '50s. But you shouldn't have to sit through the silly thing, unless you're a 14-year-old girl right now.


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