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Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Random, Horny, and Hilarious: The Soundtrack of 'Grease 2'

Based on the hit Broadway musical of the same name, Grease was released in 1978. It went on to be the highest grossing film in a year that gave us both Superman and Clint Eastwood confiding his deepest darkest secrets to an orangutan and cemented the careers of stars John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (at least until the latter decided to star in Xanadu two years later). Of course, a success this massive called for a sequel, although perhaps only because the proper technology for a Grease videogame had not yet been invented. And so, four years later came the release of the aptly titled Grease 2.

Being a craven cash-in, Grease 2 features little of the original cast; it says something when the biggest star to return is fucking Frenchy. Set once again at Rydell High, the plot is basically the same as the original, but with the genders of the lead characters reversed. Instead, Grease 2 follows the attempts of a polite exchange student, the hopelessly British Michael Carrington (Maxwell Caulfield), to woo the coolest girl in school, Stephanie Zinone (Michelle Pfeiffer).

Grease 2 is the kind of movie where the central romance is kicked off by the female lead proclaiming, “I could kiss the next guy who comes in that door!” Guess who enters? That’s right, the male lead. What fortune! (Incidentally, Grease 2 screenwriter Ken Finkleman also wrote and directed Airplane II: The Sequel. Thankfully, Mr. Finkleman has not made another sequel since then.) This sloppiness extends to the soundtrack, of which a few choice songs prove unexpectedly funny both in their utter randomness and their ridiculous treatment of sex.

Early on comes “Score Tonight!,” which is about getting laid in a bowling alley or something. In case the wordplay wasn’t obvious, the song features countless couples singing “We’re gonna score tonight!” while looking deep into each other’s eyes. This makes lines like “We’re gonna wipe the floor with you tonight” all the stranger.

But this lame innuendo is the height of subtlety compared with the following song, the comically straightforward “Reproduction.” Because why bother with a double entendre when a single one will do:

In addition to the best seated dancing of all time, “Reproduction” features only the act and not the actual product of reproduction, that is to say the part where reproduction occurs.

Of course, the singers are a never-seen-again substitute teacher and the entire classroom. Everyone present except for, you know, the two main characters. Michael and Stephanie kinda just hang out, making googly eyes at one another, while everyone else sings lines like, “Reproduction, reproduction! / Baby, give it to me now / Reproduction, reproduction! / Is that all you think about?” Grease 2 is full of insights about the sexes, like how men always want to bone but women are too prudish. It’s enlightening.

This study of the genders continues with my absolute favorite song, the adorably creepy “Let’s Do it for Our Country.” Allow me to set the scene: Unimportant Male Supporting Character (Louis) has invited Unimportant Female Supporting Character (Sharon) into his family’s bomb shelter. Once inside, his greaser friends sound an alarm so as to convince Sharon that war has broken out; given thatGrease 2 is set during the era of “duck and cover,” World War III isn’t too unlikely. Louis then attempts to get into her pants… through song!

In the midst of this fake danger, Louis asks the pointed question: “What if you and me was to die tonight without ever doing it?” Louis tells her that they should have sex not only because he’ll totally be shipping out to fight tomorrow, but also because IT’S THE PATRIOTIC THING TO DO GODDAMNIT.

“Just think about it Sharon,” he says. “It would be like as if we were doing it for the Statue of Liberty.”

“Or the Grand Canyon!” she offers.

“Or the New York Yankees!” he adds.

Then together, they realize: “It’d be like we were doing it for Disneyland!” Because the wonderful world of Disney runs on horny teenagers.

And here’s the kicker: Sharon falls for it! She’s about to “give something to America [she] never gave before” when she inexplicably (her line is extremely muffled) runs to the door, revealing Louis’s two conniving pals. Shocked at this betrayal, Sharon runs off in a huff. Luckily, this plot point never comes up again. Or what is played as a flirtatious come-on might be revealed for what it is: a gang member attempting to trick what appears to be a borderline-retarded girl into giving up her virginity.

Shockingly, Grease 2 flopped at the box office, nixing plans to follow up the film with two sequels, as well as a TV series. Who knows what future classic showtunes we were robbed of? Maybe one day someone will see fit to produce Grease 3, allowing us to enjoy songs like “Let’s Sex” and “Penis in Vagina.”

Justin Geldzahler is a freelance writer who would like to work a Wet Hot American Summer reference into all of his articles.

  • Jeff

    Sharon runs to the door at the end of the song because "doing it" to her means "join the army", and so she is running to join the army

  • amandalynferri

    please don't make fun of my favorite movie again. thanks

    • sapir

      seconded.

      • steenie

        thirded

        • cool rider

          Fourthed

          • black widow

            fifthed!

  • dingus

    You're not going to talk about Cool Rider??!

    • katieleebee

      Omg! Cool Rider! I used to totally pretend I was Michelle Pfeiffer and belt this out while climbing all over my swingset. Oh…the 80's.

  • punkahontas

    You forgot about the motorcycles! Do you really wanna know, what I want in a guy? Well, I'm lookin' for dream on a mean machine, with hell in his eyyyyes…

    I've been trying to get my husband to watch this with me, but for "some reason", he refuses.

  • http://twitter.com/wafhaus stove

    actually the best line in this movie and possibly in ANY movie ever is during "who's that guy"

    who's that guy / on that motorcycle?/ what would they say if /
    they knew it was michael

  • nokatze

    the never seen again sub is seen at the end at the luau too, damnit. you can't make something more funny than it already is guys and it is funny. "I'll be your girl for all seasons" constantly gets stuck in my head!

    • http://twitter.com/Rog_and_George Rog and George

      Every time I see someone in "Hawaiian" fancy dress, or hear them mention the word "luau", I get "A luau! A luau! A waca hula luau!" stuck in my head. I love Grease 2. I think I love most the fact that Stephanie Zenoni went on to become Hollywood Megastar Michelle Pfifififififfffer, and Michael Carrington went on to star in Holby City (American friends: Holby City is a British D-list hospital soap opera, that is a spin off from another hospital soap opera, and it's basically a retirement home for actors from other soaps). It's camper than two tents and a fire and I love it.

  • Danny Zuko

    What I find hysterical that
    Justin Geldzahler actually thinks that the producers took themselves seriously. It always amuses me when so called serious writers have no clue of what they are writing about.

  • EMW

    Ken Finkleman is actually now one of the greats. Watch the Canadian, early 90s version of the Newsroom. Great stuff.

  • http://twitter.com/Emdashes Emdashes

    Also, one of the most important things about "Let's Do It for Our Country" is that gullible Sharon is the great Maureen Teefy, = Doris Finsecker from Fame!

  • Srabonty