John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway
Bronte Woodard, Jim Jacobs
You know at least one song from "Grease." You're humming it right now. You saw the review and instantly your mind went there. It's beyond your control. It's okay. Just give in to it. You can't stop it. You can't avoid it. "Grease" is that infectious.
Which song is it?
"You're the One That I Want?" It's especially memorable thanks to the film's closing with leather bound Sandy singing to Danny "You better shape up...I need a man."
Or, how about "Greased Lightning?" Sometimes, I will spend an entire afternoon trying to remember the lines. It drives me nuts. Does it goes "It's automatic...it's hydromatic...no, no wait...that's not it. Or is it?" I can never remember. But, instantly, I see Jeff Conaway dancing on the car and I begin to smile again.
Or maybe it's "Summer Nights?" It's a hot little romantic number in the beginning. Wow, what a way to start.
Let's face it. "Grease" is filled with song after song after song that is infectious, memorable, fun and just plain easy to sing along with. Here in Indianapolis, a local theatre recently did a fund-raising auction with a brilliant twist. They were auctioning off parts in the musical "Grease." Yep, they took complete novices (or those with limited experience) and put together the show. It was damn good, which only goes to show you how truly accessible this music really is to everyone.
Is this brilliant cinema? Of course not. It's not designed to be such, but it is designed to be one hell of a good time and it succeeds wholeheartedly. The film stars John Travolta as Danny, Olivia Newton-John as Sandy, Stockard Channing as Rizzo, Jeff Conaway as Kenickie, Didi Conn as Frenchie and a host of real life 50's stars including Frankie Avalon, Edd Byrnes, Eve Arden, Joan Blondell, Sid Caesar, and the members of "Sha-Na-Na". On a lighter note, if you look carefully you'll even see Lorenzo Lamas in the cast. That alone makes me smile.
Randal Kleiser directs, or at least manages the film, and he's made a career out of directing slightly odd flicks such as "Big Top Pee Wee", "Blue Lagoon," and "Honey, I Blew Up the Kid."
If you're looking for deep, meaningful music and a film that exudes character development and strong plot then I'd suggest you look elsewhere. "Grease" is about fun. You will get nothing more, but I guarantee you will get nothing less.
The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.