In defense of Grease 2.

It's Sunday, it's raining, and I'm still unemployed, so there's no good reason for me not to be inside watching television all day. Flipping through the channels, I noticed that VH1 was showing Grease again. VH1 runs Grease a lot (apparently, it's "a movie that rocks"), but it never runs Grease 2. That's a shame, because I always like Grease 2 better. It's a more moral movie.

Now, bear with me a minute on this one. In the original Grease the plot is: boy (Danny) meets girl (Sandy) at the beach, pretends to be someone he isn't so they have a great summer, boy meets girl again at school but it doesn't work because boy and girl are too different, so boy tries to become like the girl but that doesn't work, then the girl changes herself completely so the boy and girl can live happily ever after.

Yeah, that's a moral I'd want my kids to learn.

Now then, the plot of Grease 2: boy (Michael) meets girl (Stephanie), but it won't work because they're different kinds of people, boy creates new persona to impress girl, girl falls for new persona but boy realizes she still doesn't love the old persona, boy continues with new persona until it almost kills him, boy finally realizes he has to find a persona between the old and new one to make himself and the girl happy. Them they drive off and happily ever after.

See, in Grease the girl changes herself to be exactly what the boy wants. In Grease 2, the boy doesn't just change to match the girl's expectations; he realizes he isn't who he wants himself to be, and that the best version of himself is somewhere between what he is and what the girl wants. That's the discovery of self. (It's the post-modern version of a hero-quest. It's thesis and anti-thesis.) That's a story worth telling.

That's why Grease is just a musical, but Grease 2 is a musical that makes me a feel a little better about the human condition. I even bought the soundtrack. (Twice; once on LP and once on tape.)

So yeah, I like Grease 2 more than I like Grease. That's all I wanted to say.

Posted at 11:06:32 PM EDT on 29 May 2004 from Trenton, MI