It's not easy to explain the peculiar mystique of Grease 2
uninitiated. The only way to truly understand what makes G2
of the recognition it receives here is to see it for yourself. That said,
for those of you who have not been fortunate enough to see the film, we offer
a concise plot summary, highlighting some of our favorite moments. Enjoy!
"Back to School Again"
The opening number is notable not just for its ability to introduce all the
characters in less than five minutes, but also as an example of the mass
choreography favored by director Patricia Birch throughout the film. Birch,
of course, designed all choreography for the original Grease and
apparently saw directing her own film as another opportunity to focus on
The opening scene also marks the first moment Michelle Pfeiffer ever appeared
in a starring role--as Stephanie Zinoni, leader of the Pink Ladies. Pfeiffer
flips up the collar of her pink satin/leather jacket and slithers into a
shoulder-shaking dance routine performed to the whine of a saxophone.
As the cast completes a frenzied bout of pony-stepping, we are introduced
to the T-Birds, led by Johnny Nogerelli. Nogerelli is played to perfection
by Adrian Zmed, one of the more experienced dancers and singers among the
cast members (to which anyone who remembers his stint as host of Dance
Fever can attest).
Frenchy (Didi Conn reprises her role in the story's lame attempt to tie
G2 to the original Grease) quickly explains that the character
of Michael Carrington, played by Maxwell Caulfield in a much less exciting
screen entrance, is Sandy's cousin from England.
The scene ends with the Pink Ladies Pledge ("To act cool, to look cool, and
to be cool, till death do us part, Think Pink!"), and some miscellaneous
dance sequences featuring adults pretending to be oversexed high-school students.
The scene that follows the big opening number fills in details of the story.
Over the summer, Stephanie has matured and decided that she can no longer
stand Johnny's chauvinistic ways. Meanwhile, Pink Lady Paulette Rebchuck,
played by Lorna Luft with psychotic intensity, has her eye on Johnny.
After watching the new kid, Michael, get roughed up in the hallway, Stephanie
continues into class, where she whiles away the time reading Road &
Track. Later during gym class, Stephanie expresses to Paulette her
frustration with the male power structure of dominance and oppression:
gotta be more to life than just makin' out."
Paulette: "You know
I haven't thought of it that way."
Michael watches Stephanie from afar and we sense his longing for her, and
then his frustration when Frenchy explains the rules which govern the world
of Rydell High: "Stephanie Zinoni is a Pink Lady which means if you're not
a T-Bird, which you're not, you can look but don't touch."
As Michael ponders the inequities of high school life, the Scorpions appear
on the football field. This gang of motorcycle degenerates, led by Balmudo
(a.k.a. Ratface), lives only to torment Rydell's T-Birds. The Birds respond
to this affront as best they can by slipping on leather jackets over their
gym shorts and lighting up cigarettes. Although Johnny's voice cracks when
threatening Balumdo with an evening of bowling ("Tonight we bowl!"), he later
manages to reaffirm his manhood with Paulette: "And Paulette, I want you
to look special, dig?"
This scene at the bowling alley is full of priceless dialogue. Most
notable is Johnny's comment to the T-Birds about Paulette, who wears gold
lame hot pants and caresses her pink bowling ball: "Let's just say I'm giving
her therapy for her disease--nymphoidmania." Also notable is Johnny's leering
comment to Paulette when someone asks for the final score: "Final score happens
Easily one of the goofiest musical numbers ever performed, "Score Tonight"
features commercial-like close-ups of cheesy dancers looking at the camera.
The cast of random characters includes several nuns and effeminate men with
hairpieces doing acrobatic dances with bowling balls. The highlight occurs
when Adrian Zmed emits a high-pitched wail while sliding down a bowling lane,
then sings to Paulette while on his knees: "Hey Paulette, take a look over
here. I'm your king-pin honey, and I'm gettin' in gear." This scene offers
yet another opportunity for director Patricia Birch to go dance-crazy. The
various routines feature dancers jumping and swaying while holding impossibly
light bowling balls.
After the fun subsides, Stephanie again asserts her feminist desire to be
free of Johnny's obsessive need for control, declaring: "I ain't no one's
Johnny: "Oooo, she ain't no one's trophy. So that's the way
it's gonna be, huh, Miss Independent?"
Stephanie: "Yeah, independent! I kiss who I want when I want."
To prove her point, Stephanie threatens to kiss the next person who walks
into the bowling alley. When the unsuspecting Michael receives this
surprise kiss, Johnny is infuriated, and the plot thickens....
As auditions for the June Moon Talent Show commence, Michael is recruited
to play piano. This gives him many opportunities to admire Stephanie as she
rehearses for "Calendar Girls" with the rest of the Pink Ladies. One of the
more interesting talent show entries features twin cheerleaders singing their
ode to "Brad," who is described as a "sensation in madras."
Following one talent show rehearsal, Michael makes his move to ask Stephanie
for a date. She turns down repeated entreaties and sings him a song about
her ideal man--the "Cool Rider." As the first strains of the song begin,
Pfeiffer is bathed in red lighting. Wearing a tight black outfit, she scales
a ladder with cat-like stealthiness, and straddles it while singing lines
like: "I want a devil in skin-tight leather" and "If he's cool enough/he
can burn me through and through." Anyone who wonders why Pfeiffer was the
only actor to become successful after G2 needs only to watch this
Another classic musical number, "Reproduction" features Tab Hunter, camping
it up as he did in John Waters' Polyester (1981) and Lust in the
Dust (1985), as a slightly smarmy substitute biology teacher. This song
features almost unbelievable lines like: "Make my stamen go berserk" and
"I got your pistil right here."
"Who's That Guy"
It's "Cool Rider" to the rescue! After listening to Stephanie express
her longing for a "Cool Rider," Michael begins his quest to become her fantasy
motorcycle man. Exploiting his intellect by selling term papers to the T-Birds
allows Michael to earn enough money to "invest in a cycle." Finally, after
perfecting his biker skills and obtaining a large pair of motorcycle glasses
to disguise his identity, Michael returns to the bowling alley as the mythical
"Cool Rider." He vanquishes the evil Scorpions and wins Stephanie's heart,
although she still doesn't know his name.
"Do It For Our Country"
DiMucci (Peter Frechette) and Sharon (Maureen Teffy) perform G2's
eloquent political statement on the horror of nuclear holocaust. Hilarity
ensues when a romantic encounter in a "nuculoid" fallout shelter becomes a
sitcom-esque misunderstanding of DiMucci's dishonorable intentions.
Michael moves toward his goal on both fronts, by taking Stephanie on a romantic
motorcycle ride as the "Cool Rider," and by tutoring her in English as himself.
During their tutoring session, Stephanie tries to explain to Michael the
mystique of being in love with her motorcycle hunk even though she doesn't
know his name: "Don't you think that's a little weird? I mean not weird,
weird, but exciting weird?" She also begins to admire Michael for his
intelligence: "You know all this deep junk and everything. You must think
I am some kinda dummy, right?" Michael: "Actually, I think you're kinda
Until the talent show, when he can again meet Stephanie as the "Cool Rider,"
Michael passes the time by moping around and singing badly (see "Charades").
When Johnny and his T-Birds, enraged by jealousy, chase the "Cool Rider"
off the edge of Deadman's Curve, Stephanie fears the worst. During the talent
show, she goes into a grief-induced trance. But she somehow manages to sing
an ode to her lost love, and imagines meeting him again in biker heaven,
where they will wear matching silver lame biker jackets.
"Rock-a-Hula-Luau"/"We'll Be Together"
At long last, the happy ending arrives when the "Cool Rider" miraculously
returns from the dead to fend off the Scorpions at the end of school luau.
Stephanie is not fazed by the revelation of her motorcycle man's true identity,
saying: "I got two for the price of one." The rest of the couples reaffirm
their love/lust for each other and engage in a highly choreographed sequence
in which they are entwined in strands of colored lights.