Grease is primarily about the unlikely romance between greaser Danny Zuko and good girl Sandy Olsson, but I always found more emotional resonance in the sub-plot concerning the rebellious Rizzo, played by Stockard Channing.
Rizzo provides comic relief but also has a pregnancy scare that complicates her relationship with Kenickie, and in one of the film’s most touching scenes (embedded below) she gives us a rare glimpse of her vulnerability.
Decades before the phrase “slut-shaming” was coined, Rizzo carried the torch just beautifully.
Than go with a boy, or two
Even though the neighborhood thinks I’m trashy, and no good.
I suppose it could be true,
But, there are worse things I could do.
I could flirt with all the guys.
Smile at them and bat my eyes.
Press against them when we dance,
Make them think they stand a chance.
Then refuse to see it through.
That’s a thing I’d never do.
I could stay home, every night.
Wait around, for Mr Right.
Take cold showers everyday,
And throw my life away,
On a dream that wont come true.
I could hurt, someone like me.
Out of spite or jealousy.
I don’t steal and I don’t lie, but I can feel and I can cry
A fact I bet you never knew,
But to cry in front of you,
That’s the worst thing, I could do.