Today, I would like to talk about one of my favourite movies of all time. It’s not a good movie. In fact, it’s quite bad. But for whatever reason, watching it makes me ridiculously, joyfully ecstatic. Like, if I ever happen to come across it while flipping through the channels (which doesn’t happen often, because it really is awful so it doesn’t get much play) I literally start jumping around in excitement and yelling “YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (Never mind the fact that I own the movie on DVD). That’s how happy it makes me. My irrational love for Grease 2 truly knows no bounds.
I can see how this movie might have looked good on paper. The original Grease, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, was a massive hit. I guess the producers figured that Grease 2 would be an easy win — just repeat the formula of the first movie and watch the bucks come rolling in. Boy were they wrong. Grease 2 was considered to be both a critical and commercial flop.
The second movie has basically the same plot as the first one, only inverted — this time the goody-goody foreign exchange student character is a guy, Michael Carrington (played by Maxwell Caulfield, who later romanced Brenda on 90210, and also starred in another one of my favourite movies, Empire Records). Michael lands at good old Rydell High on the first day of Senior Year and instantly becomes smitten with Stephanie Zinone, leader of the Pink Ladies (played by Michelle Pfeiffer, who might literally be the most beautiful person who has ever lived).
To give you an idea, here is IMDB’s synopsis of the movie:
An English student at a 1960’s American high school has to prove himself to the leader of a girls’ gang whose members can only date greasers.
I mean, how amazing is that? “A girls’ gang whose members can only date greasers”! I would like to know if such gangs still exist, and if so how I can find one and become a member post-haste. Embarrassing confession: when I was in the 5th grade, a bunch of my friends and I formed a gang based on the Pink Ladies. We called ourselves the ‘Chiclets’ and we cut out nameplates from gum packages (I know, so budget) and stapled them to the back our our acid wash jean jackets (it was the ’80s). We didn’t do anything remotely cool like smoke cigarettes in the bathroom, skip school, or date older boys — in fact we were basically the biggest dorks ever. But we were totally in love with the movies and wanted to emulate our heroes.
Anyway, here are a few of my favourite things about Grease 2:
– The fact that Michael Carrington is considered a ‘nerd’. I mean, look at this guy:
And that’s what he looks like before his transformation into a smokin’ hot motorcycle dude. It’s ridiculous, is what it is. I love it when movies try to pass off beautiful people as geeks.
– The song ‘Cool Rider’, which Stephanie sings to Michael to explain to him why she won’t date him.
Aaaaaahhhhh this song is SO AMAZINGLY BAD!!! I know all the words to it by heart. Seriously, I can totally bust it out for you the next time you see me. Bonus fun fact: I made my younger brother watch this movie so many times when we were kids that he too has the lyrics memorized.
– The talent show. The costume budget alone for the Pink Ladies number is highly implausible for a high school level event. Sidenote: I would really like to own Stephanie’s Christmas Tree dress and star crown:
– The luau scene, when Steph and Michael finally get together.
Really, I just love everything about this movie, from the bad acting to the mediocre-to-awful songs (there really aren’t any great ones) to the campy amazingness. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favour and rent it.
p.s. In the process of doing my “research” for this post, I stumbled across a fan tribute to the song ‘Who’s That Guy’ on youTube. This is seriously one of the cutest things I have ever seen, and I wish I was BFFs with these girls as they are apparently even bigger fans of the movie than I am and this looks like one of the most fun projects ever.
Here’s the song from the movie:
And here’s their version:
Adorable, right? Girls, if you decide to remake ‘Cool Rider’, call me!