The Michelle Pfeiffer Pface-Off: The Fabulous Baker Boys vs. Grease 2

In this episode of Criss Cross Counter Punch, Daddy Geek Boy and A Vapid Blonde debate which movie contained Michelle Pfeiffer's better singing role: The Fabulous Baker Boys or Grease 2.

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Daddy Geek Boy: Let's face it, Michelle Pfeiffer was (and is) a luminous babe that made the '80s just a little bit brighter. But you honestly want to compare her star-making performance in The Fabulous Baker Boys to the drivel called Grease 2? It hardly seems like a fair fight. Everything about TFBB exuded class. It was sleek and stylish and funny and serious. It had a real story and real characters. It had a soul. Not to mention Michelle Pfeiffer in a slinky dress laying on top of a piano. What did Grease 2 have? Screechy pop songs about bowling and reproduction.

A Vapid Blonde: First, let us address the fact that Michelle Pfeiffer had her first leading role in Grease 2 and without this brilliant vehicle, her performance in The Fabulous Baker Boys might never have happened and to that we are all forever indebted to Grease 2.

What did Grease 2 have? Only a straightforward commentary on the pressures of being socially accepted in high school vs. the deep internal longing to break out of the mold of normalcy, coupled with an intense fear of the consequences that doing so might bring. Also, as Michelle's character Stephanie so eloquently puts it as she straddles and writhes on top of a ladder: men in skintight leather, that is what Grease 2 has.

The Fabulous Baker Boys? Hookers, has-beens and sappy lounge music.

Daddy Geek Boy: The lessons learned in Grease 2 are that in order to go anywhere in life you need to put on skintight leather and be a "cool rider," huh? TFBB may have hookers and lounge music, but at least it's about talent and redemption.

But we are here to discuss Michelle Pfeiffer, are we not? How could you possibly compare the amateurish performance of an actor in her first leading role to the nuanced and star-making role that was hers in TFBB? I know you gotta start somewhere, but she was in Scarface for cryin' out loud. Did she really need to sully the good name that was Grease with this drivel?

A Vapid Blonde: Drivel? I am confused by this. Did you not see her gut-wrenching performance at the high school talent show when she single-handedly brought the house down, baring her soul to everyone, while singing her heart out at the thought that her cool rider had perished? Obviously you missed that part of the movie. But I understand watching her wiggle all over a piano, tearing apart not only The Fabulous Baker Boys' act but their relationship as well, could be a bit distracting, but when she pulls the 'Oh I have a stiff neck could you rub it?' bit, there is a word that comes to mind... Hmmm... Cliche, perhaps?

Again, Scarface came out after Grease 2 and without the wonder of her performance as Stephanie Zinone, her role in Scarface may never have happened. So in reality, scoring the lead Pink Lady role was just a primer for Scarface, don't you think?

Daddy Geek Boy: Grease 2 almost cost her the role in Scarface. After seeing the flick, Brian DePalma refused to audition her for the role. It was strong-willed producers and her talent that won her the role and made her famous. That says both a lot about Michelle Pfeiffer and the sinkhole that is Grease 2.

And you do know that she didn't really "bring down the house?" That was in the script.

Her performance in TFBB, however, transcended the screen and catapulted her into super stardom.

A Vapid Blonde: Well if we are going to throw Scarface into the mix, clearly that is the best of all three. I don't think she sang in it though, did she? It has been a while.

So that's it. Scarface is winning this debate and its not even part of the competition.

I can't go on. The best thing about Grease 2 other than Adrian Zmed's super tight jeans is Maxwell Caulfield bare-chested in gold lame leather and a great gazoo helmet. And for that, I will always love the kitsch of Grease 2.

The best part of TFBB was the "Makin' Whoopie" song. Other than that, it was a little sad actually for me. Quite frankly, she didn't sing that much in either movie.

So Scarface wins.

Although she did get the boy in the end of Grease 2.

Daddy Geek Boy: You know I think we've really learned something today: When squaring off against a cool rider or a piano crooner, a big pile of coke will always win.

(Though I still say The Fabulous Baker Boys beats those tight Zmed pants off of Grease 2.)

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So who wins? Have your say in the comments!

[photo 1|photo 2]

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