54. Grease 2

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Movie: Grease 2

Release Date: June 11, 1982

Director: Patricia Birch

Starring: Michelle Pfeiffer, Maxwell Caulfield, Adrian Zmed, Lorna Luft, Didi Conn, Eve Arden, Sid Caesar, Dody Goodman, Tab Hunter, Connie Stevens.

Tag Lines: “Grease is still the word!”

“The Music and Feeling go on Forever.”

Relevance: As already reported on this blog, in the late 1970’s I was singing and dancing along to ‘Grease’ (see 90. Grease) quite a bit. ‘Grease’ was definitely the word in our house. Even at the start of the new decade, one could still hear me belting out “Summer Nights” or “Greased Lightnin'” at any given time. One would think that my love for that film would have triggered some sort of response when its sequel was released in theaters. However, it did not. I have no recollection of it being in theaters or for that matter any commercials, trailers or word of mouth. But man alive, when I finally saw ‘Grease 2’ on HBO, I knew it would be a movie that I would cherish until the day I died.

‘Grease 2’ was a huge flop at the box office. In June of 1982, all eyes were on ‘E. T. the Extra-terrestrial,’ which may be why it didn’t perform well or why I don’t remember it as I was all about ‘E. T.’ at the time (see 61. E. T. the Extra-terrestrial). However, the film was also completely panned by critics and is probably the real reason that it did not find an audience in theaters. According to reviews, Michelle Pfeiffer, a relatively unknown actress at the time, seemed to be the only highlight of the movie of what some called “dizzy and slight,” “stale,” “aimless” and “horribly dull.” Ouch.

I am not exactly sure if it was late 1982 or early 1983 when ‘Grease 2’ started playing on HBO. I do remember that its premiere night my entire family was sitting in front of the television as we were all ‘Grease’ fans, eager to see the next chapter. My mom tapped her foot, my sister chuckled and my dad slept while the movie played. I was completely intrigued and very entertained. I always wanted real life to be a musical. I always wanted to sing and dance my pain, joy and inner thoughts in a well choreographed number filled with costume changes and wild lighting. So right from its “Back to School” opening number, ‘Grease 2’ had me hooked on the spot. The songs just kept getting better and better as the movie progressed and by the end of the movie, all I wanted to do was watch it again.

My mom and dad, who were huge fans of the original as well as the Broadway show, were not thrilled with the sequel. They thought it was just okay. My sister and I on the other hand, loved it. We watched it all of the time. Every time HBO aired the movie we would sit in front of the television and be entertained over and over again. It was silly and ridiculous but really funny and those tunes were catchy as hell. Both of our favorite song by far was “Cool Rider,” followed closely by “Reproduction” and “Do It For Our Country.” We were forever singing those songs, which I am sure annoyed my parents. But we didn’t care. Once the movie stopped playing on HBO, we kind of lost track of it. For some reason we didn’t make it one of our movies “recorded on a VHS tape” as part of our collection. I also didn’t own the soundtrack, so for the remainder of the 1980’s, ‘Grease 2’ remained only in my head.

In the Spring of 1990, I was feeling kind of blue at college. My mom sensed it on one of our phone conversations and that following weekend, there they were at my dorm room door. We spent that Saturday talking, laughing, eating and shopping. We went to a mall that happened to be forty-five minutes away from the college I went to and found ourselves in a music and video store. Lo and behold, the ‘Grease 2’ VHS tape was on one of the front fixtures in the store. My eyes lit up. My mom grabbed it and said that she would buy it for me. I walked around the store a bit and ran across the cassette tape of the soundtrack to the movie, which got added to the purchase. My mom really knew how to cheer me up.

I spent the rest of that semester watching and listening to ‘Grease 2’ as much as I could. I showed the movie to a lot of my friends and they fell in love with it just as much as I had years ago. My one friend loved it so much, every time he saw me on campus he would start singing “I’ll be your girl for all seasons” which always made us laugh. Anytime I felt a little under the weather or depressed or just needed a pick me up, I would watch ‘Grease 2’ or listen to the music and I was instantly feeling better. Not many movies had given that much joy to my life like this one did.

I now own ‘Grease 2’ on DVD and watch it periodically. The original ‘Grease’ is shown on different television channels periodically throughout the year. ‘Grease 2’ is not. As much as I love the original, and as much as it technically is a better film, I hands down would choose ‘Grease 2’ as it is one that just makes me happier. There is another friend of mine that enjoys this movie as much as I do and we always say that it is a far superior film to the original. It really annoys people, and that makes us laugh. ‘Grease 2’ was just the perfect amount of cheesiness and silliness with great sing-a-long songs that simply made me smile for years and will do so for years to come.

Today’s Thoughts: “The Pink Ladies Pledge to act cool, to look cool and to be cool, till death do us part, Think Pink!”

It annoys my husband that I find ‘Grease 2’ more entertaining than ‘Grease.’ And that makes me smile. Today both of us sat down to watch the musical. Sure, he made fun of it while it played, but when it was done, for the remainder of the day, he was singing those songs. He’s a closet fan. I am an out and proud fan.

I really just love the hell out of this movie. It is just goofy fun and it just resonates so much with me. I love the characters. I really love the choreography. I mean, that opening number is so good. And I really, really love those songs. “Cool Rider” is still by far my favorite and I could watch Michelle Pfeiffer sing that in the movie over and over again. She was so beautiful and really great in this role. The rest of the cast was just as fun, especially Maxwell Caulfield and his dreamy eyes (although my husband was admiring his butt today).

‘Grease 2’ never, ever gets the attention that it deserves and probably never will. But for me, it is one of the best musicals ever. It is campy and fun and totally entertaining. There is apparently a stage musical version of it called “Cool Rider” that I must investigate, but until then I will forever listen to ‘Grease 2’s’ music and watch this gem every chance I get.

Ways to Watch: Pluto TV, Crackle, Amazon Prime, CBS, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, iTunes, DVD Availability.

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