MOLLY SCHOEMANN: My high-school friends and I shared a love of bad movies. We spent many a Friday and Saturday night curled up in front of the kinds of movies that other people only rent by accident. (After turning down several invitations to attend hip, raging parties of course). Our tastes were more particular than you might think, though. For us to become completely obsessed with a bad movie, it had to a very specific type of bad movie: the type where you can’t tell if it maybe thinks it might actually be a good movie.
Sure, we liked camp as much as the next group of nerdy high school girls, but what we were really after was a certain indefinable quality that a film has when it was made completely in earnest—or was it? A bad movie that knows it’s a bad movie is just terrible—but a bad movie that very possibly believes that it is actually a worthwhile film is a wonderful thing.
Grease 2 is one of those movies that sits on the fine line between outlandish and maybe – just maybe –serious. I absolutely love Grease 2. It is an atrocious film. Most of the time while I’m watching it, I’m thinking, “The people making and starring in this film must know how terrible it is. They have to know. They can’t NOT know. The lack of self-awareness it would take to not recognize the inherent awfulness of this movie is beyond comprehension.” But then, for just a fraction of the time I spend watching Grease 2 (and don’t ask me how many times I’ve seen it), I am also thinking, “Wait, I think I could imagine that this musical number is supposed to genuinely tug at my heartstrings. And I’m fairly certain that was an attempt at comic relief. And deep down, I think the tone of this scene is supposed to be authentically edgy and sophisticated. Or is it?!”
This is why I am loving the posturing of Donald Trump during this early election season. Because on the one hand, he can’t possibly be serious. He’s just having a laugh and putting on over on us all. Right? After all, there’s no way The Donald thinks he is a Presidential contender. Then again, why else is he doing this? It is impossible to ignore the fact that there is a slight possibility that he’s actually convinced he has a chance. Or is there?
In conclusion, Donald Trump, throw your hat into the ring! Do it! Do it now! You’re the Grease 2 of Presidential hopefuls, and I can’t wait to figure out whether or not you are aware of it.
AKIE BERMISS: Like Molly and her childhood girlfriend, I love camp. I enjoy satire and satire’s ugly cousin: Parody. To me, no matter what the impetus behind the Trump campaigning, its all about parody. The question is a) whether it is parody of elections and politicians in general, GOP politics, or just Trump parodying himself; and, b) is this deliberate?
Trump — who’s name, let us not forget, is Trump — is a master of making greater parody than he intends. He exists at that level of being where he thinks that because he’s making us laugh at him that he has gotten the last laugh, but actually we’re laughing at him thinking he making us laughing. And so, in fact, he’s still a putz.
And honestly, where politics are concerned that makes him dangerous.
I’ll let the pulitzer prize winning journalist Eugene Robinson tell you the full story of how serious it could get. Right now, I just enjoying Trump’s ability to make himself even more a name than he already was. No matter who is in the news — Gaddaffi, Tiger Woods, Charlie Sheen — Trump finds a way to get the honorable mention. For all his stupidity, he’s got some serious staying power. Right now, its funny. If he’s still going strong during the primary season, then we’ll have a problem.
Its one thing to watch Grease 2 in the privacy of your own home. Its another thing entirely to nominate it for movie of the year. When things get bad, they get bad fast.