JUST FILMS & THAT: We take a look at famous flop Grease 2
Here, we’ll be taking a few minutes out of our day to celebrate what we think might be an underrated, under-appreciated or under-seen film. So let’s take a look at Grease 2 from 1982, starring the wonderful Michelle Pfeiffer .
Just Films & That is a podcast that celebrates the films we feel deserve a little bit more love.
For this instalment, we’ll be diving into Grease 2, the sequel to the musical Grease. As with the first film, Grease 2 follows the musically charged high-school shenanigans of the Pink Ladies and the T-Birds. We’ve got a new gang of some of the oldest looking teenagers you ever saw, with our link to the first film being that new student Michael (Maxwell Caulfield) is the cousin of Sandy (Olivia Newton-John).
I love this film. And I think it’s better than the first one.
This review contains some spoilers
Sure, it’s not perfect. There’s some questionable sexual tension between one of the teachers and her students. Some of the shallow rhetoric of reasons why a girl would fancy a boy and vice versa are also pretty outdated. But on the whole, I firmly believe that this film does not deserve the absolute kicking it gets.
I think that most of the songs in this are excellent. From Reproduction to Who’s That Guy, from Prowling to the simply iconic Cool Rider - I was sofa dancing the whole way through. They are all incredibly catchy, and carry a bit more edge to them than the songs in the first film, which for me just didn’t hit in the same way.
Stephanie is a breath of fresh air compared to the depiction of the Pink Ladies in the first film. In Grease, our protagonist Sandy isn’t really having a great time. The man she loves makes fun of her, her so called “friends” make fun of her. And in the end, the only way she gets the man of her dreams is by changing everything about herself.
But Stephanie ain’t here for any of that. She is her own woman. She knows what she wants, and by golly she’s going to get it! The leader of the T-Birds, Johnny (Adrian Zmed) believes he has a claim to Stephanie, and that she owes it to him to date him, but she doesn’t stand for this. She dresses differently from her fellow Pink Ladies, she has a job pumping gas and she secretly wears trousers at school under her skirt. All this feels pretty progressive for a film based on a musical from 1971.
I’ll be honest, I could go on about why I love this film, but this is meant to be a quick snappy article that you can feast your eyes on during your lunch break. So we’ll move on to see what my co-host Josh had to say about it…
Grease 2 was one of Alice’s more left field choices. A film with a legacy of being terrible that she reckons is one big unfair Albatross around its neck. I had seen this before many years ago, so I went into this one with some reservations but ultimately, there are redeeming things about it.
There are some pretty good songs, the opener of Back to School is a favourite as well the film’s most famous song, Cool Rider. The whole film is pretty well choreographed and easy on the eye in terms of costumes. There is also some surprising and welcomed comedy relating to Maxwell Caulfield’s character being a fish out of water English bloke in an American school.
The highlight for me though is the performance of Michelle Pfeiffer as Stephanie Zinone. As Alice said in the episode, it gave a more feminist slant on the whole thing and that is in no small part down to her having an absolute truck load of charisma.
So, ultimately in the end…. Is it as bad as its reputation may suggest? No. Am I in a rush to watch it again like Alice is? Also no.
But that’s just what we think. What do you think? You can get in touch with the podcast via social media, search Just Films & That on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even TikTok! And let us know what you think about Grease 2, or any of the films we have covered.
If you have a suggestion for an underrated film that we should take a look at, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
The full podcast episode on Grease 2 is available here through this link, or wherever you get your podcasts!
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