It all started innocently enough. They’ve been doing work on the floor above us in our office building, and yesterday’s noise involved stuff bouncing on the floor(1), and bouncing at regular enough intervals, that one of my co-workers posted on our Slack channel:
You’d think our upstairs neighbors would have invited us to the opening of their new bowling alley.
Which then prompted me—as a child of my generation—to ask:
Does anyone here remember Grease 2? “We’re gonna sco-o-ore tonight!”
And just like that, I’d ear-wormed myself.
The humor of this only escalated after I posted a quick one-liner to FB about having infected myself with an ear worm from this pinnacle of cinematic achievement. In a surprisingly short period of time, 4 different friends commented, offering suggestions for which song it had been, infecting each other—and the wider circle of my acquaintance—with a plethora of ear-wormy options from the movie.
All these tunes had been rolling through my cerebrum for enough hours during my workday that I could not stop myself from pulling up the On Demand menu for our cable subscription and watching the entire film again last night.
Which I thoroughly enjoyed, by the way.
That part didn’t surprise me–Grease 2 has been one of those guilty pleasures of mine pretty much since I first saw it on grainy 1980’s-era videocassette. What has surprised me, in the last 24 hours or so, is discovering how I’m very much not alone in holding that kind of sneaky affection for the film.
My first clue to that was how many friends jumped on that FB post of mine. And then as I asked Professor Google about it all, I discovered more. I found a fan site.(2) I learned The 92YTribeca theatre even hosted a couple of Grease 2 sing-alongs—back when there still was a 92YTribeca location.
And I found a whole lot of writers talking about their fondness for Grease 2:
- Nic Holas, Grease 2 Was A Way Better Film Than Grease And I Won’t Be Told Otherwise
- Gwen Ihnat, Grease 2 is actually way cooler than the original
- Lyndsey Parker, In praise of feminist icon Stephanie Zinone, or why Grease 2 is better than Grease
- Toni Ratcliff, Why Grease 2 is an Underrated Cult Classic
- Mat Whitehead, People are Finally Admitting that Grease 2 is Better than the Original
You see? Not just me!
A lot of the film’s defenders are focused on the ways Grease 2 isn’t such an expression of toxic masculinity as its predecessor. Unlike Olivia Newton-John’s Sandy, who falls smack-dab into the virgin-whore dichotomy—both in her original goody-two-shoes and her final tramped-up presentation—Michelle Pfeiffer’s Stephanie is able to be sexually active and a bit tomboyish and generally smart and someone who asserts that her identity and sexual agency isn’t about being owned as “some guy’s chick.”
And I am on board with that.
I also appreciate, no matter how much we love the film, we aren’t blind to its flaws. Like, none of us dare pretend that poor Maxwell Caulfield did a good job singing his bits of music. Still, imperfections are not enough to dampen my ardor for this guiltiest of guilty pleasures.
(1) At least that’s what it sounded like.
(2) I did not discover any Grease 2 porn, although I assume it’s out there somewhere. (Rule 34!)