Thanks to Buffy the Vampire star Sarah Michelle Geller, I got major chills, and they're multiplying. But this time, it's not because she's kicking major vampire butt, but because she's called everything I've ever known about Grease into question.
Before we get into that, let's reminisce about the Grease we know and love. Can anything compare to this classic scene when everything works out? Who doesn't love a happy ending?
One morbid AF fan theorist, that's who! And, not wanting to share the pain alone, on stumbling upon said theory, Gellar posted her summary to Facebook.
So, um, yeah... it turns out that we may not only be dealing a depressing ending, but an entire story predicated on death. That's right—this is a fan theory proposing that wonderful, innocent Sandy was actually dead for almost the entire movie. Are your chills multiplying yet?
Let's break it down:
It all starts with the ending
The theory finds its roots in the very last scene of the movie, when Danny and Sandy drive off into the sunset. The utterly romantic scene gets a little supernatural when the car lifts off the ground and flies into the sky. What many took for a simply stylized ending, this idea man used as the basis for a theory: Sandy wasn't just driving off to her happy ending, she was driving off to HEAVEN.
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Her fatal injuries happened on the beach
Remember when we see the backstory on Danny and Sandy's summer lovin'? Early on, we see the doting pair flirting on the beach, having a jolly old time. Then, when we hear the song "Summer Nights," Danny sings the line, "I saved her life—she nearly drowned." Well, the theory contends that Sandy really DID drown that day and the events of the movie show their magical year in high school together. That's why events get increasingly outlandish with multiple dream sequences until, finally, a fully transformed Sandy flies into the sky.
I struggle with "it was all in their head!" or "it was all a dream!" theories because it seems like they can apply to pretty much any movie. It often strikes me as a cop-out when these are haphazardly thrown onto a storyline that doesn't really have the evidence to back it up, but I found one extension of this theory that I find a little more believable.
Alternative: Sandy actually commits suicide
Redditor Randomd0g proposes his own fan theory in which Sandy does in fact die, but that doesn't take place until right before the last scene, which are her dying thoughts as her consciousness takes flight.
Evidence begins with "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee (Reprise)," the song before Sandy makes her climactic change. The last line is "Goodbye to Sandra Dee." Then, all the problems of the movie immediately start falling into place a little too perfectly. Rizzo is no longer pregnant. Kenickie finally realizes his true love for her. The nerd makes the team. Demure Sandy finally comes out of her shell, and everything goes exactly how she would want it before floating up to heaven.
So, what do we think?
Obviously, this is a movie that allows characters to bust into song and choreographed dance numbers, so there is automatically an expectation that you are suspending your disbelief. The original drowning theory could account for the many dreamlike musical segments, but that may not be enough evidence for proof.
No matter what, Grease will always be a film we love. Relive a bit of that Summer Lovin' with this clip!
Do you think Sandy was dead the throughout Grease?