Film No 10 (2014) : Grease

Grease is the word
Is the word
Is the word
Is the word
Is the word
Is the word
Is the word
Is the word
Is the word

grease 1Grease was released in September 1978, the start of my 4th year at secondary school. It was the soundtrack of my mid-teens, sandwiched between Meatloaf’s ‘Bat out of Hell’ and Springsteen’s ‘Hungry Heart’. I’m not sure whether it has ever really gone out of fashion, as it has also been playing repeatedly in the background of my daughters’ teenage years (although her tastes also encompass the somewhat incongruous Eminem!).

The screening of ‘Grease’ which I saw was a Sing-a-Longa performance. For the uninitiated, the concept is really very simple: A host introduces the movie and explains the contents of the ‘goodie bag’ on each seat; a flag to wave at Thunder Road, tissue to accompany ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’ etc. Audience members parade on stage to show off their ‘Pink Ladies’ and ‘T-Bird’ costumes and it is staggering to see the lengths to which some folk go to appear as the sexiest Sexy Sandy and coolest Kenickie. As the film plays, the lyrics of all the songs appear on the screen, tempting even the worst singers to join in. Audience participation is encouraged, often with hilarious results.

The film continues to appeal to the teenage girl in lots of us. Of course it has dubious morals – Rizzo has unprotected sex, everyone smokes and Sandy finally wins over her man on a promise of surrendering her virginity. But I’m prepared to sell my feminist principles down the river for the sake of a couple of hours of fun. grease 2

I was surprised to realise that even after 36 years, the words came flooding back. Even the ‘We go together like ramma lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong,  Remembered forever as shoo-bop sha whada whadda yippidy boom da boom’. Shame I can’t remember what I had for breakfast though!

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