'Grease 2:' Feminist Masterpiece and the Superior 'Grease' Film
I’m still feeling vulnerable from yesterday’s admission. And from great vulnerability can come great empowerment. So here I stand before you to pose another massively important question: Grease 2. Is it a universally understood flopbomb? Or a revolution in feminist cinema?
It’s the latter. I say to you on this day and all days, it’s the latter.
Grease 2 is a film with a female protagonist who is unabashedly herself to the judgment of her peers. She works at a garage. She wears PANTS. She wants a motorcycle man. The hot British new kid is so enamored with her that he changes everything about himself to please her. The movie addresses the idiocy of high school boys, peer pressure, rape culture, gender roles and has a whole song about banging (several actually), AND it was directed by a woman.
HOW DO WE CONSIDER THIS A BAD MOVIE?
We have our hero: Stephanie Zinone (Michelle Pfieffer). A blue-collar girl who has a manual labor job, eats french fries, and is the most popular girl in school, the queen of the Pink Ladies.
She is assumed by her peers to be the property of Johnny, the leader of the T-Birds. But not our Stephanie—she says several times in the film that she’s not about that life. “Maybe I’m tired of being someone’s chick.” “I ain’t no one’s trophy.” “I kiss who I want when I want.” YAS. QUEEN.
We have our Sandy:
Rex Manning Michael (Maxwell Caulfield).
He’s British. He’s smart. He’s rejected by the vapid T-Birds, but eventually captures the interest of Stephanie by tutoring her. But, tragically, she’s into someone else: a mysterious motorcycle boy. BUT TWIST! IT’S ACTUALLY HIM THE WHOLE TIME! HE’S GODDAMN SPIDERMAN JUST TO IMPRESS STEPHANIE! And whereas Sandy changed her appearance in the original film, he risks literal life and limb learning how to ride a motorcycle and handcrafting one from scrap metal and British dreams.
We have our Lorna Luft: Lorna Luft. It was probably really hard having Judy Garland as a mother and Liza Minnelli as a sister and DAMMIT Lorna deserved this moment.
The songs are also tremendous. There’s the song about boning.
There’s the song about boning and bowling.
There’s that song about boning at the grocery store.
There’s the song about boning FOR AMERICA.
There’s the song about wanting and deserving a strong partner and rejecting the aggressive come-ons the patriarchy deems appropriate, even encouraged. YES THAT IS ABSOLUTELY WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THIS SONG, DAMMIT.
Grease 2 is absolutely a flawless musical joy. It deserves the appreciation it has heretofore missed out on. IT DESERVES BETTER.
Thank you, Grease 2. FOR BEING THE SUPERIOR GREASE.
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