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Grease 2

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Grease 2 pink ladies

Image credit: Grease 2, 1982

Warning: you’re going to want to stock up on alcohol this month. For the next several weeks, I plan on highlighting some fantastic guilty-pleasure film sequels. Yes, many of them fall into the “so bad it’s good” camp, but what’s wrong with that? The way I see it, alcohol can only improve these forgotten gems. First up is my favorite on any terrible sequel list, the 1982 gem Grease 2 (DVD/Download). What- you didn’t know there was a follow up to the classic musical Grease? And that it stars none other than future-Rex Manning, Maxwell Caulfield?? Yes it’s true- this movie exists and it is AMAZING.

Despite being an obvious rush job in an attempt to squeeze a little more money out of the Grease box office juggernaut, this sequel has a lot of things working for it. Number one is Michelle Pfeiffer, in her first starring film role. I would go as far as to say she’s even better than Olivia Newton John, but that’s just my opinion. Next is the cavalcade of 50’s movie stars such as Connie Francis, Eve Arden, Sid Caesar, and Tab Hunter as the substitute Sex-Ed teacher. Let’s just say, there’s a song called “Reproduction” and things get…. weird. Finally the script has traded motorcycles for busted cars, and it is HOT. Here, tight leather pants make sense. In the original Grease– eh, not so much.

One thing that does carry over from the first film is the ultimate girl gang The Pink Ladies. They might be missing the acerbic charm of Stockard Channing, but they’ve gained Paulette the Marilyn Monroe-wannabe, and Sharon (best quote: “We’re gonna die and I’m wearing my mother’s underwear!”). And let’s not forget little Pink Lady-in-training Delores, played by future TV star/Louis CK BFF Pamela Adlon. In honor of this stone cold bunch of weirdos, while watching Grease 2 I’ll be drinking a Pink Lady Redux

Pink Lady Redux

3 oz gin

1.5 oz heavy cream

1 oz applejack

1 oz grenadine

Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until chilled and thoroughly mixed. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.

True story- the soundtrack to Grease 2 was the first cassette tape I ever owned. Blame it on TV networks who aired this relentlessly on Sunday afternoons in the late 80’s, my love of pink satin, or my pre-teen crush on Adrian Zmed, but I can still recite every lyric by heart. Maybe this is a terrible movie, but it’s my terrible movie. And perhaps, after a few drinks, yours too. Cheers!

 

Grease

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Image credit: Grease, 1978

Image credit: Grease, 1978

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.

pink lady sangria

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!