I had had “Summer Nights” stuck in my head for over a week, so I finally caved in and watched Grease for the very first time as a pallet cleanser. Well “caved” is probably the wrong word, I basically just never had a real impetus to watch Grease before, though I am a fan of musicals and the iconic songs are pretty rad. Never just had the urge before. Anyway, the movie turns out to be just a hotrod of goofy fun. The 50s period adds a neat setting and the greasers, if anything, provide a very nice aesthetics to the movie, between the scenes where they’re trying to appear super cool. Travolta singing and dancing was quite something, I might have to look up his other movies of the same vein.
The plot itself of course is entirely superfluous and shallow, it is a musical after all. It’s nothing but one giant tease about how long it will takes for Danny and Sandy to get together and be happily ever after. As an audience, we already know this basically means the entire length of the movie because what is a film romance without unnecessary drama and misunderstandings? But we don’t mind this usually, as long as the music has us tapping our foot and nod along to the beat, we’re content. Usually. But Grease unfortunately happens to be one of those movies that has its share of dud numbers that aren’t particularly exciting and makes the movie considerably dreary at places to wade through. Thankfully majority of the song and dance numbers are good and also happen to be incredibly catchy, not to mention absolutely enticing to watch, so while a bit annoyed at times, you are ultimately able to forgive the slow and boring parts of the movie.
It’s hard to choose which number I liked the best. The dance contest certainly was a blast to watch, and the entire climax with “You’re the One That I Want” has incredible energy behind it, while “Greased Lightning” had Travolta singing from chains and run around with saran wrap flowing in the air, which was just… wow. The appeal and longevity of Grease is easy to understand with songs like these. The sheer energy and joy the songs have feel very timeless and evergreen. They speak to you and are so magical that you will never be free of them.
…Which is of course why now I have “Summer Feeling” stuck in my head all over again.