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Grease (1978)
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Grease (1978)., 8 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There's basically no story structure, the film is episodic and really kind of plot less. Most of these characters are paper thin and the words on the page basically just introduce situations into the screen with no breathing room. The film is so borderline campy it edges on the ridiculous, there's not enough scenes between Sandy and Danny, and don't even get me started on Sandy's late act switch from naive schoolgirl to sultry bombshell (although Jim Jacobs' explanation for this change is very interesting, it doesn't come off in a convincing way on screen).

And works. There's an infusing energy in this film that can only be chalked up to its pitch-perfect cast, who breathe life into these caricatures, and to Randal Kleiser's underrated direction. As far as musicals go (a genre that, I'll admit, I'm not a fan of), this is one of the most entertaining offerings, particularly because it doesn't take itself so seriously like so many modern musicals do. Jeff Conaway and Stockard Channing are scene-stealers, Olivia Newton-John is a charming presence, but it's Travolta's spirited and hilarious performance that takes the cake as MVP.