Monday, June 11, 2007


Hope he's proud of what he's done

BLOGGER'S NOTE: This post is for the Grease 2 25th anniversary blog-a-thon being coordinated at The Moviezzz Blog.

By Edward Copeland
Grease 2 was an awful movie and I didn't want to admit it when it opened back in 1982. Its screenplay was written by Ken Finkleman, who also wrote and directed another awful 1982 sequel: Airplane II: The Sequel and would later go on to write one of the many Madonna movie disasters, 1987's Who's That Girl?

I had a minor obsession with the movie Grease that almost equaled my obsession with Star Wars (I actually sat through Grease in a movie theater more times than any of the Star Wars films). So I was there on opening day for Grease 2, even though inside I knew it couldn't really be a true sequel without John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

I bought the soundtrack before the film even opened and, really, the songs are the film's saving grace. I've never set through the movie a second time, but I did buy the album when it came out on DVD and have been known to listen to it from time to time.

Sure, even the songs don't equal the ones from Grease, but they contain charm and flair that Grease 2 itself lacked and I feel no shame for still owning that CD. The movie and the soundtrack actually gets off to a strong start with The Four Tops performing "Back to School Again" with a huge production number that definitely shows the sign of first-time director Patricia Birch's work as a choreographer.
Spending my vacation in the summer sun
Getting lots of action and lots of fun
Scoring like a bandit until the bubble burst
Suddenly it got to be September First
Woe is me
All summer long I was happy and free
Save my soul
The board of education took away my parole
I've got to go back, back, back to school again

Even in the second line of the very first song, it sets the stage for the preponderance of double entendres and straight-forward sex talk that would pervade Grease 2. (As I side note, since I saw the original Grease in elementary school, it was years until I learned what Kenickie really meant about his "25 cent insurance policy.)
Just look at the lineup of songs for the sequel: "Score Tonight" (ostensibly about "bowling"), "Do It for Our Country" (faking a draft call to get laid), "Prowlin'" and what can really be said about "Reproduction," which sets sex education to music. Honestly, do you think abstinence-only education could ever produce such a catchy tune?

Since I knew this blog-a-thon was imminent, I pulled out my CD and listened to it again multiple times, to make certain my memories weren't overly rosy, but while the songs certainly won't make Stephen Sondheim blush (or Leiber and Stoller for that matter), most of them retain their charm, especially if removed from the context of the lame movie in which they exist. Really, the only two songs I frequently skip are the "Girl for All Seasons" number and "Rock-a-Hula-Luau (Summer Is Coming)."

In addition to the opening song, "Cool Rider" "(Love Will) Turn Back the Hands of Time" and "We'll Be Together" especially hold up well. Still, if there's only one song to be remembered from this unnecessary sequel, it always will be "Reproduction." 25 years later, it still retains a degree of audacity.

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"Let's do it for our country! Our country wants us tooooo!"

It was like R-rated Schoolhouse Rock.

I thought Grease 2 was horrible as well, and though the script may be bad, I think it's better directed than the original. This isn't saying much, but the primary reason I hate the original is how poorly directed it is. It's a wreck. I actually liked the Broadway musical (and even played Kenicke in a much less prestigious production). It's odd that I can remember the words to some of those Grease 2 songs, even if I haven't seen the movie since it came out. What a waste of brain space!
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