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GREASE LIVE! (2016) Movie Review

  • By Cara Buckley
  • 29 Jan, 2016
High School Students Finding their True Selves

A live special of the 1978 classic musical, Grease, premieres on FOX January 31st. It was an event that I knew I couldn’t miss, and it was worth every moment. With an incredible cast, it was brilliantly performed and sung. I’d watch it over and over again.

Fortunately, I can, because the full video is available Catch it while you can.

The performance was not only true to the original film and soundtrack, but it also improved upon it with new songs and material that filled some of the plot holes. The biggest plot hole being Sandy’s decision to make a drastic change to her appearance and behavior. The big question of the film why (or for whom) does she change?

Does she change to impress a boy, or does she break free from parental control and discover herself? In the special but not the film, Sandy admits several times that she suffers under strict rules made by her parents, and she shows consistent signs of rebellion. So, the scene revealing her make-over doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

Grease is indeed a touching romance until its questionable ending, but a much more meaningful plot lingers beneath that surface: self-discovery.

We can also see several dynamics of typical expectations and peer pressure for a high school senior.

  • First and foremost, the senior cast feels the pressure of school work and joining the unknown world after graduation.

  • Sandy feels the pressure of proper conduct from her parents, but she is a rebel at heart.

  • Danny feels peer pressure from his “gang”, but he is kind at heart.

  • Frenchie feels the pressure of a risky career choice, but she knows she belongs in high school.

  • Rizzo gets the biggest pressure of all with a pregnancy scare. Because of it, she also experiences judgment from other students when she needs support the most. She then comes to realize who her real friends are.

Grease remains one of the most popular musicals in film history because of its relatable story. It doesn’t matter what decade it is, everyone understand the difficulty of peer pressure, school work, extra-curricular activities, job hunting, unrequited love, heart break, and starting a family. These two “gangs” represent very real people with real problems and concerns. They are America’s teens in the midst of self-discovery as they rapidly approach adulthood.

Adulthood is a scary, stressful part of life. There are days I yearn to return to the simplicity of high school. Watching Grease reminds me of those final bitter-sweet days of my own adolescence. Grease will live in my heart forever; now, so will Grease Live! I am so happy to see it landed in such capable hands.

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