Yep. I saved the worst for last.
Over the summer, I’ve brought you some of my darkest, most secret cinematic shames. But this one? This is the clincher.
Grease 2 is, without any hint of exaggeration or hyperbole, the most batballs-retarded piece of movie shit in history. It is awful, it is painful, it is brutal.
And I love it.
Let me preface this by divulging my feelings on the original Grease. Grease and I have a troubled history. I find the original Grease to be a mess of laughably old teenagers, bad storylines and an inconsistent (at best) song list. And that is a glowing review compared to my feeling towards the stage show. Holy shit the stage show is bad. I would watch 30 showings of Cats and Annie over the Grease stage show.
And despite my loathing of the stage show, and my only partial enjoyment of the original film, it is still horribly hurtful and humiliating to admit this: I find Grease 2 to be far superior to its predecessor.
I want to be proud of my feelings, to be comfortable with them, but I am unable. You’re not supposed to say this. You’re not supposed to feel this. But I do. And I know I can’t be alone.
I don’t want to pretend anymore.
Grease 2 is the tale of one Stephanie Zinone (Michelle Pfeiffer), a Pink Lady who wants desperately to rebel against her role. She wants to wear capri pants to school and turn her pink satin jacket to its black leather reversed side (that seems really expensive and hot) and date someone who isn’t a T-Bird. Alas, the stringent rules of these social circles are unbending and anyone who breaks them will face penalty of social death (and possibly actual death).
Stephanie’s ex-boyfriend Johnny Nagarelli (Adrian Zmed) is kind of the Danny Zuko of this movie, only he doesn’t get the girl and is basically an idiot manchild. In fact in this film, set one year after the previous one, the T-Birds are all illiterate. I feel like the OGTB’s were goofy but at least passably intelligent. These guys are actually just flatiron fucking stupid.
The girls aren’t much better. There’s Sharon (Maureen Teefy, a.k.a., a chick from Fame, a.k.a., best name ever), who is desperately trying to be Jackie O. There’s Paulette (Lorna Luft) who is desperately trying to be Marilyn Monroe (though if we look at the layers below the surface is really trying desperately to be her sister Liza – DAMMIT, Judy, why was she never good enough for you?). There’s Rhonda (it does not matter what her name is) who has a nose only an emu could love.
Our boys include the extra stupid Goose (Shooter McGavin), the date rapist Louis DiMucci (proper stage actor Peter Frechette) and another one who doesn’t matter.
One would think our hero would be the greasy guido with the fancy hair, like last time. Well one would be a fool to think such things. A fool I say! Our hero is this man.
Oh Rexy indeed.
Maxwell Caulfield plays a wimpy Brit deep in smit with our Stephanie. When she tells him that she could never go for him because he is a) not a T-Bird, b) literate and c) not a coo-ooo-ooo-ool rider, he immediately betrays his identity in ways Sandy Olsson only dreamed of when she poured on those leather pants. He adopts the secret identity (and a Bale-as-Batman gruff voice with an American accent) of … guy on motorcycle … and wins the heart of our blonde rebel.
But he’s STILL not a T-Bird, you see. So there’s conflicty things. The conflict ends with him driving off a cliff, Thelma and Louise-style.
My personal favorite part of the movie is this: he drives off the cliff and is assumed dead because it’s a fucking cliff. Stephanie is heartbroken but MUST carry on and perform in the Pink Lady and Other Ladies talent show song. She immediately whizzes it and starts singing some magical song in her mind, which she duets with the ghost of Motorcycle Guy. The guy who is not actually dead.
Ghosts of people who are not dead are the best kinds of film character, and let no one tell you otherwise.
So he motorcycles through the end-of-the-year school carnival/luau thing, which I question historically as Hawaii had only been a state for like five years, totally ruins and destroys all the hard work of the Student Activities Board and reveals himself to be British Guy. The T-Birds accept him as one of their own, Stephanie allows herself to truly accept love and we all learn valuable life lessons, mostly because we were gifted with this song.
The songs, people. THE SONGS. There’s a song with bowling as a metaphor for sex, there’s a song about tricking a girl to have sex under threat of nuclear attack, there is a song about wondering who a guy is and there is a song about nailing broads at the goddamn grocery store.
Why is this movie not more beloved?
Grease 2 is totally lame. But it’s no less lame than the original and for that it deserves at least one apology.
Sorry, Grease 2. Perhaps the world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.
Courtney Enlow is a writer living in Chicago and working as a corporate shill to pay the bills. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.