The classic film Grease made massive social impact upon its release, and that impact continues even fifty years after its making. Whether it be through Harry Styles dressing up as Danny Zuko for his annual “Harryween” concert costume, or the intense visceral affect that “Hopelessly Devoted to You” has on the broad male population, Grease has stayed with us. The latter example on its impact is the issue upon which we will be focusing today.
An unscientific and highly biased survey was given to a select few of my male peers which consisted of one question: “What are your thoughts on ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’ from Grease?”
To my absolute delight – and largely in confirmation of my hypothesis – the men responded positively (and hilariously). Some of my favorite responses were:
“Big fan, definitely a banger.”
“I am so into this song. I can only imagine how I’d feel if Olivia Newton-John sang this song to me.”
And even though while conducting my “research” I excluded women from the survey pool, there were several comments made about the song from my female friends that qualify for honorable mention:
“I am not a bro, but hardcore fan since I heard someone sing it in middle school chorus.”
“Sometimes I try to sing this song and it violently humbles me and I remember I can’t sing.” (Relatable)
These responses confirmed my hypothesis (in a very unscientific way) that the song reaches men at a level that women just cannot reach. Now, perhaps it is an inevitable attraction to Olivia Newton-John that men develop throughout the film or her angelic vocals, but whatever the reason, it’s a fan-favorite even though it’s one of the more controversial songs in the film.
Personally, it’s one of my favorite songs in the film because of the heartfelt lyrics and the crazy talent behind Olivia Newton-John’s vocals. The meaning behind the song tugs at the soul, creating a strong divide between those who appreciate it and those who do not. A lot of people take issue with Grease because of the co-dependent and misogynistic nature of the relationship between Danny and Sandy, which is something that I respect and agree with. However, I appreciate the film putting into lyrics the exceptionally human experience of being in love (or “hopelessly devoted”) to the wrong person and not being strong enough to walk away. The meaning along with the wonderful composition of the song makes it one of my top picks for songs in Grease.