Director: Randal Kleiser
Joanna Berry is right when she says “However, the point here isn’t the story – it’s all the other ingredients that director Randal Kleiser throws into the mix that make this one of the best film musicals ever made.” (1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die) The songs are timeless and have in some ways eclipsed the film itself – many people know the songs without having actually seen the film!
The T-Birds are universal as are the Pink Ladies – everyone knows someone just like each character. Frenchy is cutesy and pink but somehow manages to avoid being sickly sweet (thank God!) Stockard Channing’s Rizzo is magnificently bitchy … with a heart of course! Kenickie is the archetypal bad boy and Jeff Conaway is the perfect foil for John Travolta’s super cool Danny Zuko. And thanks to the power of celluloid Travolta will remain smoking hot and continue to melt hearts for years to come. The cast is so perfect that I cannot imagine anyone else ever taking on these roles on film.
The dance numbers, especially during the bandstand, are frenetic and always make me want to dance. You cannot stop me from singing along to this film. There is something for everyone – the girls get the love story, the boys the cars – epitomized in ‘Summer Nights’. The costumes are divine and the cars are to die for! There is an enormous sense of fun that just flows off the screen and can almost guarantee to cheer you up.
I suppose that you can say that the film could be seen as glamourising bullying with regards to how Eugene is treated, and as I have got older the fact that the actors are meant to be passing for 18 year olds has become more tenuous but I love the film so much that I don’t even notice it. It’s seen as cheesy by some people, and it is obviously an idealistic view of the American high school experience.
I never get watching Grease! It’s probably one of my earliest memories in terms of watching films and for that it always holds a special place in my heart! Incidentally I adore the stage show too, having sen it numerous times and performed it too.