Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Grease: Musical Without the (Positive) Message

Grease, a romantic musical, was released in 1978 to the public and rated PG-13. Starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, the two lovers swooned audiences across the country. John Travolta, who plays Danny, is the popular athlete at his high school who is fawned over by classmates. The summer of 1958, he meets Olivia Newton-John, who plays Sandy, and they fall in love on a beach. When students return to Rydell High School from a summer of love, Danny and Sandy coincidently become classmates. Grease depicts to the audience of what “high school” is like; cliques, high school dances, jocks, first dates, and heartbreak. Basing the movie off Giannetti’s ideology Grease would serve as a rightest film, depicting a social class in a high school (jocks and pretty girls) as having higher power and looked at as royalty by other students.

What was positive about this movie is the theatrical aspect viewed by the younger audience. It depicted not only women but jocks who were singing and dancing. It gave the idea to younger kids that expressing oneself through music and dance isn’t just for women. Attractive jocks dancing and singing across the screen is a sight many had not seen before. In today’s culture, it is cool for a guy to do something that might be looked at as feminine. Football players at my high school participate and usually have lead roles in our school play. In this aspect, I think it positively impacted the younger audience. (The picture below is Grease being performed at my high school, the lead was a football played!)

Though I do LOVE the movie Grease and wouldn’t mind letting my kids in the future watch it, parents need to be warned of the sexual content. Though it is PG-13, it somehow is talked about by the public as if it is PG. Maybe it is because the characters are in high school and parents think, “what could high schoolers possibly know?” Well listen, these ‘high schoolers’ know and participate in sex, drinking, smoking cigarettes, pregnancy scares, and cheating. One of the most inappropriate scenes would be while Sandy and Danny are at the Drive-In movie. It shows Danny trying to grab Sandy’s breast and when she pulls away he begins to forcefully get on top of her while she begs for him to stop…need I say more? At one point or another in the movie one of the above is displayed across the screen to be shown to innocent 13 year olds.

Sandy is portrayed as a well-manicured woman rather than a teenager going through puberty. With her curves being exposed in her black spandex get-up and her perfectly curled hair, her image gives girls false expectations and a low self-esteem. The message being portrayed by Sandy, Danny and Co. show that you must have curves, perfect skin, great clothes, height, muscle, and a daring personality to be someone in high school.

Because Grease is PG-13 I believe the overall message to its audience is negative. No 13-year-old should be introduced to such strong sexual content by actors who are portraying high schoolers. I give Grease 2 stars for their message because of it's message to the intended audience. Yes, it is a FANTASTIC movie but in such a context I cannot agree with them. There is no “moral” and positive message in the movie Grease.

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