A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that teens in this movie smoke, drink, and talk about sex constantly. One character tries to trick another into having sex. The movie is full of sexual innuendo and objectification of women. Michael tries to become what Stephanie wants, and risks his life with death-defying motorcycle jumps to do it. On the other hand, Stephanie is a strong female role model. She doesn't give in to peer pressure and is in the process of figuring out who she is.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
It's 1961 at Rydell High School, and we're reacquainted with the Pink Ladies and T-Birds of Grease. But things are different. Head of the Pink Ladies, Stephanie Zinone (Michelle Pfeiffer), is done with the head of the T-Birds, Johnny Nogerelli (Adrian Zmed). She's looking for someone who is, as she sings, "cool enough that he'll burn me through and through." Enter Michael (Maxwell Caulfield), Sandy's cousin from England. Michael wears suits to school, does the T-Bird's homework for them, and pines after Stephanie. When Michael saves enough money from writing other kids' papers, he buys a motorcycle and tries to become the man of Stephanie's dreams. He's mysterious, he has an awesome bike, and he has the shiniest leather pants of anyone at Rydell. He woos Stephanie, but won't disclose who he is. When his true identity is revealed, will Stephanie love him or leave him? Will he die in one of his dangerous jumps? Will Johnny finally get over Stephanie and treat Paulette right?
Is it any good?
As a follow-up to the classic, Grease 2 pales in comparison to the original. It speaks loudly to the power of the original Grease that its choreographer was given the reins to direct GREASE 2; Patricia Birch's work is prominent in the too-long dance numbers to the ridiculous number of songs. However, as a stand-alone fantasy about getting the girl of your dreams, it's no Pretty in Pink, but it does have its fun moments.
We've seen it all before: The pining, the hoping your crush will like you for who you are, the hope you'll be accepted by the cool kids -- it's all there. But here, actors way older than the teens they're playing, rehashing the tired story in a rather uncool way. Sadly, to make up for being less cool than the original, Grease 2 is raunchier. And the main theme of this one isn't a forbidden-love story, as the first was. Grease 2's message is the geeky kid emerging as a cool kid, and getting the respect of the guys and the love of one special girl. Here, it's important to talk to both boys and girls about how they let their special talents and inner cool show -- without trying to change themselves completely for someone else.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why Michael feels like he needs to change for Stephanie. Here's a good opportunity to talk to teens about maintaining a sense of self in the face of the desire to fit in and get the girl or guy of their dreams. Does Michael learn his lesson? How does Stephanie's sense of self differ from Michael's? Would Stephanie change who she is for a boy? Does that make her more or less attractive?
- In theaters: September 5, 1982
- On DVD or streaming: June 10, 2003
- Cast: Adrian Zmed, Maxwell Caulfield, Michelle Pfeiffer
- Director: Patricia Birch
- Studio: Paramount Pictures
- Genre: Musical
- Topics: High School, Music and Sing-Along
- Run time: 115 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: sexual innuendo and situations
- Last updated: May 7, 2021
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