Boston's Alternative Source! image!

R: ARCHIVE, S: MOVIES, D: 03/26/1998,


No plot to speak of, mismatched leads, songs that are whiter than white, humor that's sophomoric instead of snappy, and a sensibility that keeps trying to buy into the '50s when it should be parodying them -- gotta be Grease. Randal Kleiser's film version of the Broadway musical is enjoying a 20th-anniversary re-release from Paramount, with Danny (John Travolta), Sandy (Olivia Newton-John), Rizzo (Stockard Channing), and the rest of the gang at Rydell High (Bobby, not Mark) hotter than ever, even as they make Fast Times at Ridgemont High look like Rebel Without a Cause. Travolta's posturings and Newton-John's Pollyanna act seem to come from different planets, but these two are both softies at heart, and that's what greases Grease's wheels. The film appeals to the romantic in us all, as once more we're hopelessly enchanted by "Hopelessly Devoted to You" and find ourselves shaping up for "You're the One That I Want." At the Nickelodeon, the Fresh Pond, and the Circle and in the suburbs.

-- Jeffrey Gantz