Sunday, 11 September 2016
Well, it's been a long time since I last blogged, or blooged for that matter. So I thought because its now September and to use a quote from my favourite film Grease 2, its "back to school again". Wooohooo.
So while the house was quiet, I immersed myself in what was at the time 'pure cheese'. However, when it was released in June 1982 I was 10 and went to see it as an early birthday present with my sister. It was in the ABC cinema in Bexleyheath that I experienced my first crush...Maxwell Caulfield. I drove my parents and sister nuts with the posters I put up on the wall. What makes the film for me extra special was that the tickets ended up being the last birthday present my father bought me. On his 39th birthday the following April, he was killed in a lorry accident and I was 11 at the time.
So is the film itself a poor imitation of its predecessor? Well, after rifling through my book collection and finding the copy of Grease 2 I'd bought yonks ago, I read it with an authors critical eye. I discovered that actually the storyline itself is pretty good. If the writers had taken a little more time tweaking the script and some of the characters, re-writing a few of the songs, perhaps it would be a film on par with some of the Disney 'original' movies.
It is really good premise. Sandy Olsson's English cousin comes to America on an exchange programme and while attending Rydell falls for the leader of the Pink Ladies. Unfortunately Stephanie won't settle for less than her idea of the 'perfect guy'.
Perhaps focussing more on the developing romance between Michael and Stephanie and less on teenagers obsessed with losing their virginity would be a start. In the film AND the book there is no defining moment where Stephanie fell for Michael, unlike at the beginning of Grease where the romance was clear from the very start.
Michael is English and compared to America, life over here in the 1960s was still rather austere. To suddenly be plunged into a world of what could be defined as technicolour would have been overwhelming. My guess is he'd be completely out of his depth, and perhaps with his innate good manners, forming friendships would be incredibly difficult.
This is where I feel Frenchy's role could have played a bigger part. As a member of the original Pink Ladies and Sandy's friend, perhaps certain scenes could be replaced with her interacting with Michael and Stephanie, acting as a matchmaker. Even mentioning Sandy and Danny may have given the storyline that extra depth.
Yes there are a lot of cock-ups in the film...The athlete's bollocks falling out of his shorts after hurdling, the bowling scene with nuns!!!!, Lou's attempt to seduce Sharon in the nuclear shelter, an odd conclusion to the talent show scene and the ending.
What stands out for me is as an author of romance, and I did read the First Love series from Silhouette, is when Steph realised she loved Michael as himself and not his Cool Rider persona. I feel that part has been sadly overlooked. All the cast were incredibly good looking, but where were the smiles, and the enjoyment?
It seems therefore quite poignant that although I learnt about sex from reading Forever by Judy Blume, it was from Steph and Michael's end smooch I learnt how to kiss. Thanks chaps.
Anyway, should someone decide that the film is worth re-making. Remember that it is first and foremost a teen romance, between a couple who are complete opposites. Anyone up for a Grease 2.2?
Although the film was slated royally, it still remains my favourite film and I loved it. Of course a dream of mine would be to meet any of the cast and just say thank you to them. So if anyone reading this knows any of the cast...please, please, please ask them if they would get in touch.
I'll finish this little soapbox post about the film with a recent photo of the cast, well the T Birds anyway. I don't think they've aged too badly, and await the arrival of the men in little white coats.
TTFN guys and just to let you know, both Pann books are now in print!!!!!
Keep it kooky guys