Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Grease pt 1

I'm gonna be honest with you, I know I rip on popular movies and even full movie series a bit on here, but sometimes, I actually feel kind of bad about it. I know that people like these movies, God bless them, and I kind of feel bad going on and on about how much I think they suck. I feel bad because I know how they feel. I have to work with some asshole that every now and then just feels the need to go on and on about how stupid Batman (as well as other superheroes) is, and why I am stupid for looking up to him. So I get it, I know it sucks. Today, however, is a special case. I am going to rip into Grease with no regrets. Why? Well, while it is still a popular movie that has survived generations, there is a bit of a trend that I noticed beginning a few years ago. It was people who saw the movie when they were younger, rent/bought it so they could share it with their own children, and then realized that it was horrible. Whether it was the story or the decisions of the characters that just don't add up or make sense or the fact that it just isn't very appropriate at all for children to see, parents came to regret showing their kids this movie. I'll admit, I didn't really get what all the hooplah was about until a few months ago when my school put on a production of the original broadway play (with some of the songs from the movie thrown in) and I was cast in a minor role. At this point, it was almost inevitable, I had to see the movie now. So I recorded it and watched it and I have to say... I still don't see why the movie is popular. I mean, okay now that everybody is taking off the nostalgia goggles and seeing for themselves, it's lost a few points, but I don't get why it was popular in the first place. Sure, the songs are catchy to an almost annoying degree but once you get past that there is nothing else that Grease has to offer.

So what's the story? Sandy Dumbrowski (aka Sandra D), which they changed to Sandy Olsen in the movie for reasons that are yet to be explained to me, is the new girl in school and seems to have trouble fitting in with one group of girls that call themselves the Pink Ladies. Or, well, she doesn't really have trouble fitting in with them, they are pretty nice to her except for Rizzo who in both the play and the movie is built up as being a bitch. I'm gonna guess that this was done on accident because she has a number towards the end of it that's supposed to make her appear sympathetic, but I still look at it and think "Nope, you're still a bitch". For all intensive purposes, we'll say she has trouble fitting in. So she has trouble fitting in because of her conservative catholic upbringing which clashes with the rebellious pink ladies who smoke like chimneys, drink wine and pressure her into getting her ears pierced. Again, this was mostly Rizzo, the other girls seem to be mostly indifferent about it. And since Rizzo just seems to be an all around bitch, I don't really see why Sandy feels the need to fit in. Why doesn't she just hang out with another group of people? The student body is not just these dozen or so nimcapoops, there are other people to meet. While this is all going on, Sandy is also crushing on Danny Zucko, a boy that she dated for a little bit over the summer until they decided to end their relationship due to the fact that they are both going to different schools. However, when the school year starts, she ends up going to the same school as Danny due to a last minute change of plans. So happy ever after right? Bitch, please. Their very first encounter, Danny pretends not to know her in order to keep up his reputation with his friends.

And this is my other main problem with the movie, the character of Danny. Usually in movies about high school where one person is jumping through hoops in order to date someone, this person usually has something to offer. Normally, the person of interest is big on athletics or is a cheer star or is at least passionate about something in school. Instead, Danny is desirable because... he wears a black leather jacket even when it's sunny and warm outside. I'm sorry, I don't really get why Sandy wastes her time with Danny. He isn't that smart, he's not athletic, he's not even that charming, he just comes off as awkward. And on top of that, he denies having this great relationship that they had over summer and that they devoted a whole musical number to just because of how it will make him look to his friends. I can understand them having something over the summer, but once she saw the way he was in the real world and the lack of integrity that he had, she really should have cast her feelings to the wind and looked for another fish. Even when they finally do start dating, he spends half their date trying to get in her pants in his best friend's car. Yeah, he's a keeper alright. In the end, after he wins a drag race she, out of nowhere, ends up changing everything about herself in order to impress him. Now call me crazy, but I am a fond believer of the idea that if you have to change yourself to impress someone, then that person is not worth impressing. You have no idea how much I have tried to explain that to people in real life to no avail.

The musical itself, which again, has some good songs, is not that good. The rest of the story is not so much one plot but rather a bunch of subplots that all get resolved in one sentence in the final 90 seconds of the show. For example, one of the Pink Ladies, commonly known as Frenchie, I'll let you figure out how she got that name, is in a bit of a pickle because she dropped out of high school because she was flunking and wanted to go to beauty school and then dropped out of beauty school because it was too hard. And in the end, she just announces that she got a job at a cosmetic store. That's a great lesson to teach your kids. Make all of the wrong decisions and drop every endeavor you attempt and things will just work out for you. The other subplot that really annoys me is the pregnancy subplot with the queen of bitchy herself, Rizzo and her... um... boyfriend (?) Keniecke (feel free to go grammar nazi on my spelling of his name, I'm just gonna call him K). They have one of those relationships where they are always either fighting or... another word that starts with an F. In the play, she gets pregnant from some nameless guy (we can assume it was K, but it's never explicitly stated and she keeps saying "You don't know the guy"), and in the movie, she gets pregnant after she and K have sex with a broken condom, and yet he is only stated as being the "potential father". Conclusion: Rizzo's a skank, no matter how you spin it. Okay, everybody in this story can be assumed as a skank, but to hear Rizzo try to talk her way out of it is just mind boggling. In the words of Stu from The Hangover "You are literally too stupid to insult" And yet that plot gets resolved by it just being a false alarm... Wow... You know, there's a difference between Deus Ex Machina and just plain stupid. I'll let you decide which category it belongs in (hint: the second one). Keep in mind, she believes that she got pregnant after missing her period. In a scene shortly following this revelation, where Sandy offers her royal bitchiness some comfort, Rizzo breaks into that music number that I mentioned earlier. I could go line by line through that song and tell you just how wrong it is. You know what? Why not? Let's do it. In my next entree, I'll go through this song as well as the ending and explore how I could have made it better.

No comments:

Post a Comment