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Grease (1978)
'It's Still the Word'
5 May 2004
Sandy and Danny, their names alone mean nothing, together they represent the film we all know and love that brought us 'Summer Nights' and 'Greased Lightnin'. Grease is an infamous musical-play turned film, adapted and produced by Allan Carr, chartering the summertastic rock 'n' roll of the 1950s, centring on the highs and lows of a group of teenagers at high-school, Rydell High.

The film begins with two people having a summer romance, Sandy (Newton-John) an uptight, naïve, nerdy Australian girl and Danny (Travolta), a 'jack-the-lad' 'T' bird. After the opening credits which are amusing cartoons of the main characters we see the two well known groups of teenagers, the Pink Ladies and the 'T' Birds going back to school after summer vacation. The rest of the film centres mostly on the relationship of Sandy and Danny, the problems they face, and the ups and downs of their high school chums. The main characters and the unusual pairing of Sandy and Danny makes for comfortable viewing.

My favourite part of the film is the music, this film has such a brilliant soundtrack. If you have the chance to watch the film on DVD you get the added bonus of a songbook. However with a musical film you do find some parts unrealistic when they sing, why would a group of lads sing Summer Nights for example? Yet that aside the songs, mostly corny love songs are addictive and easy to pick up unfortunately will be in your head all day. Grease may not have had a lavish budget like films made today, but this 1978 film directed by Randal Kleiser still manages to have great audience appeal. Its' scenes and costumes are basic and probably didn't break the bank to produce but this all adds to the realism of the film.

I like the film and could watch it over and over again. Newton-John's debut performance is excellent but her character Sandy is too 2D and has no depth. Travolta's performance is to perfection and this film benchmarked his film career. Danny is 3D, he can be loving, self obsessed, a saviour and a winner, whereas Sandy to me is just a bore. All characters bring something different to the film making it a success. Rizzo is the hard nosed cow, bitchy about Sandy, possibly jealous, who seeks revenge on her boyfriend by going out with his arch enemy. There is also Marcy who loves the men and has lots of boyfriends, and Frenchy who becomes Sandy's best friend who is caring.

This uplifting, audience grabbing film may be slightly cheesy but there is just so much to love about it, especially the soundtrack and dance moves! This gives it longevity making it such a great film that could be the best musical ever made. This classic film deserves a 5/5 just for being groovy! But I just can't stop thinking why is it called Grease?!
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