September 18, 2015 by kmwelden
I watched Grease the other day. By “the other day,” I suppose I mean over the course of three nights, because I am old and therefore incapable of staying awake in a dark room for more than 15 minutes at a time.
Alas. I finally finished. And let me preface this by saying: Grease, I still love you. Thank you for your contribution to my childhood. I’m sorry about this. But I have some questions.
Why was I allowed (and encouraged!) to watch this movie when I was six? Did anyone listen to the lyrics of these songs? Was anyone following the plot line? Does my mom know what this movie is about? Every kid I knew loved Grease—what the actual hell was the collective parenting community thinking? My sister and I used to make up dances to “Grease Lightning”(among other Grease soundtrack classics) all the time. I don’t know if you’ve seen this movie recently, but that particular song features the lyrical gems: “You know that ain’t no shit we’ll be getting lots of tit In Grease Lightning,” and “With new pistons, plugs and shocks I could get off my rocks. You know that I ain’t bragging she’s a real pussy wagon.” And seriously, this is one of the tamer moments in the entire damn saga that is Grease. My mother got pissed that I watched The Forty Year Old Virgin when I was 16, so I’m incredibly confused that this slipped through the collective “inappropriate content radar” of every parent I knew.
Where the hell were everyone’s parents? I think the classic Welden family maxim, “If you’re out past midnight, you’re up to no good,” would have really benefited these wayward youths. Even Sandy, who you would think would have conservative Australian parents (I think they are super conservative over there. I hear they are still banning books and shit.), are blatantly absent. Is that what the 50’s were actually like? I graduated from high school in 2009, and if I tried to go anywhere in high school except straight home to do homework or to soccer practice, my mom looked at me like I was actually asking to adopt a baby lion cub. (“American Bandstand? On a Friday? I should think not, Kaitlyn Marie,” –an actual hypothetical quote from Lynn Welden.)
Are Danny and Sandy likable characters? I remember idolizing these two crazy kids when I was a child, but on this re-watch I really reevaluated this adolescent stupidity. First of all, Danny is a total dick, like, the entire movie. In my assessment of his merits as a human, he shows promise in two places. First, when he letters in track and doesn’t even mention it until the very end. He did it to impress Sandy. That was endearing. Secondly…….. you know, I actually don’t have a second occurrence. I thought I would have another one by the time I finished that sentence. He sucks. And let’s be honest—Sandy is sorta extremely boring. Your Australian accent and good looks will only get you so far, Olivia Newton John. Consider developing a personality. And a backbone. He ain’t good for you, girl! See below.
Are Sandy and Danny even compatible? What did these two star-crossed lovers even SEE in one another? I am so flummoxed by this. They have, quite literally, nothing in common. Their interactions basically boil down to Sandy looking at Danny with doe eyes and making innocuous comments about the weather or some equally boring topic. Danny responds by acting completely distant and uninterested because his “friends” are around. Does this sound like the healthy, mutually respectful, mature relationships you see in your daily life? I mean, I’m not saying that I haven’t been in this type of situation before, but eventually I figured out it just wasn’t going to work. You cannot date someone who you have zero things in common with (boyfriend from college, I’m looking at you). Sandy and Danny: WAKE UP.
Question: What sort of message is the conclusion sending to people? Answer: Completely change everything about yourself to endear yourself to the one you love. “You’re The One That I Want” is arguably one of the best musical sequence of the movie. However, on this watch, I was disturbed. I don’t even like her, but I was still incensed that she changed everything about herself to win Danny back. What would Beyoncé say? Would this have happened if the song that the kids listened to on American Bandstand was “Flawless” instead of “Hound Dog?” I should think not.
Ok. It’s 7pm on Friday night and I’ve convinced myself that sitting at a coffee shop drinking a beer and getting on some weird soapbox about Grease is the same as sitting at a coffee shop being productive and doing my homework. I should go now.