Olivia Newton-John in skin-tight pants. A thin (okay, pretty hot) John Travolta, before he lost his mind and started Adele Dazeem-gate. Frankie Avalon in a creepy heaven-as-beauty parlor dream sequence. This is the stuff that high school is made of. This week’s back-to-school classic movie musical always made me feel better about having to return to classrooms and social cliques, after blissful summers spent watching Nickelodeon and reading alone in my room. Maybe, just maybe, I’d have a gym teacher as cool as Sid Caesar. Or by some miracle, no gym class at all! I was a big dreamer back then….
Grease (DVD/Download) is a wonderful film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, starring John Travolta as greaser Danny Zuko, and Olivia Newton-John as his good-girl love interest Sandy. They meet at the beach over the summer, then inexplicably, amazingly, Sandy moves from Australia to Rydell High. She makes friends with the Pink Ladies on her first day of school (a pretty awesome girl clique led by Stockard Channing), and spends most of the movie alternatively pissed at Danny for being a typical high school guy, then in love with him as soon as he acts like a normal human being. I’m not a fan of the ending, when Sandy decides that the only way she can be happy is to slither into some tight nylon pants and tease her hair in an effort to be “bad” like Danny, but that’s a discussion for another time. All in all, Grease is a fun movie with catchy songs, charismatic actors, and a cavalcade of 50’s TV stars. Seriously, Eve Arden as the principal?? Joan Blondell as a waitress at the local teen hangout? My town was so boring in comparison.
For the past few months I’ve been drinking La Ferme Julien rosé wine from Trader Joe’s. It’s light, fruity, and perfect for the last of those hot summer days. And summer ni-highhhhhhts! At only $6 a bottle I definitely don’t hesitate to use it in a sangria, and what better occasion than this movie to invite your girlfriends over for a boozy slumber party, a la Frenchie’s house? While watching Grease, I recommend drinking Pink Lady Sangria.
Pink Lady Sangria
1 bottle rosé wine
¼ cup brandy
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ cups raspberries
1 ½ cups strawberries
1 sliced lemon
1 ½ cups club soda
Mix the wine, brandy and sugar together in a pitcher, then after the sugar dissolves, add the fruit. Refrigerate for at least an hour, then add the club soda just before serving. Twinkies optional.
Grease is an easy film to mock, due to the prevalence of 30 year old actors pretending to be 17, campy jokes, and John Travolta’s bizarre falsetto. But there’s something undeniably appealing about young love and Stockard Channing’s boozy, bawdy Rizzo. Plus- that Bee Gee’s intro- amazing! Grease is the word. Cheers!