First, I was surprised by how un-innocent the movie was. Listening to `Summer Loving' could lead one to believe this was a simple story about 50's high school students. Whoops, it's not, it's actually a parody of that. But, that gives it a lot of amusing (adult) humor.
But the most impressive thing about the movie is how energetic it is. They really don't make them like they used to. The music and dancing really gets you excited as you start tapping your feet with the rhythm. Just compare this energy to today's computer-generated films, like Star Wars Episode II! Ewan McGregor reading lines unemotionally to a CGI Yoda? YAWN... John Travolta (really) swinging Olivia Newton-John through the air? COOL!
Hollywood really has lost something. 3 Stars 1-1-2001 (Updated)
this movie doesnt need any introduction or even me commenting on how good it is.
This movie is a classic and in its own right is one of a kind and a very good movie that just makes you happy
you'd have to be a hermit not to off seen this movie.
HSM is inherently sexless, the only vestige of it being two blandly goodlooking people who prudishly peck each other on the lips on the end. The "foil" in the form of Ashley Tisdale is a shrew, a caricature who doesn't possess any immediate threat. It's like you stuffed a school with a harem full of virginal Sandys and let them at each other. You can't create these kinds of ridiculous musicals if you're gonna go all sugarcoated on them. Grease works because despite its campy songs and hammy dance scenes, it portrays high school realistically, albeit exaggeratively. For example, Frenchie is the school whore, and she sort of experiences an awakening and comes to terms that she CAN be successful...sort of, as a nail technician. HSM skirts around such issues and the closest thing you can get to social group unrest is the status quo song...which still offers unrealistic caricatures that fleshes out noone and serves up the weak message "It's okay to be SLIGHTLY different."
The thing is, Sandy had to turn into a leather-clad slut in the end because that was the only way she would be able to get John Travolta. This is what real life is about. Nobody wants to be a goody-goody wide-eyed virgin forever; it just doesn't work that way. Not saying that she CHANGED herself or her true essence or whatever, but the virgin thing is only cute at first. It's kind of a coming-of-age thing...or something. I don't know, maybe I'm reading too much into this. You can't take musicals of this caliber too seriously.
I've seen this film countless times and it's still as fun now as it was back then.
I said in my review for Sweeney Todd that a musical needs something to draw my attention. Sweeney had a macabre storyline, Enchanted had the parody nature, Grease has the lyrics. After hearing them for the first time without giving them too much attention, they sound lovely and sweet. Read the lyrics to some songs, however, and you start laughing at how they were able to get past censors and morally uptight people (I'm Sandra Dee and Grease Lightnin' are the best examples here).
It's not just the lyrics, the subplots are a little more adult too. What with discussions of sex and possible pregnancies and you have a clever film masquerading as something a little more innocent.
The characters in this film are strong too.
Olivia Newton-John is utterly devine as Sandy and her song Hopelessly Devoted To You's power has not dulled even in the modern era.
John Travolta gives one of the best performances of his career as the conflicted Danny. He's ready to shake off his old life of man-about-town but his friends still see him as their idol and in that, he is torn. It is that conflict that makes Danny a compassionate character (for the most part). Just imagine what would have happened if the rumored alternate ending had happened. I won't say too much due to how much of a downer it is but even I wouldn't have chosen that and I'm into darker material.
If I have one strike against the film, it's the ending. While Sandy and Danny do make a good couple, it takes Sandy changing her style to be more like Danny for the "happy" ending to occur. The implication seems to be "if you love someone, just change everything and don't expect them to do the same for you". Granted, Danny was trying to change for Sandy but there still should have been a compromise. Sandy could have just become a little more carefree while Danny could have been a little more like a gentleman.
Nonetheless, a powerful musical. Excellent cast and good songs make this a treat.
John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway, and Dinah Manoff all shine in this very good movie that will keep you wanting to sing along and dance!!!
I'm not apologizing for loving this movie.