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Valley Girl will always hold a special place in my heart: I would say this is certainly the best of the 80's teen-sex-comedies, but that is a back-handed compliment. This is a good movie, period. It is very specific in time and place--nearly twenty years later this is a marvelous snapshot--yet its story remains timeless. (This is just Romeo and Juliet, minus the death, after all!) Nicolas Cage is wonderful, showing all the early promise that, it turns out, he has squandered on overblown action crapola. Deborah Foreman is the revelation of this movie, and I can't believe she didn't go on to have a bigger career; someone rediscover her QUICK. This is sweeter and gentler than most films of the genre--the requisite nudity seems thrown in by contractual obligation--and, while not groundbreaking, it certainly is nice to see this kind of movie that respects its characters and doesn't crucify its shallow young girls for having fun--even Foreman's crew of best friends, misguided by peer pressure, are never presented as villains. (Indeed, her friend Stacy, forced to doubledate w/ Cage's friend Fred, has a good time despite her protests, and makes out w/ Fred in the backseat.) This will take you back to the early 80's if you were there, but it holds up quite well today. Warning to those unfamiliar with the movie: do NOT watch one of VH1's seemingly continual showings of it--go rent it in its unedited glory. Otherwise, you are missing some of the movies' most potent, time-specific dialogue. And one can't write about Valley Girl and not mention the fabu soundtrack of great 80's tunes--most of them by one-hit wonders, which are not only integral to the sense of time and place in this movie, but thematically well-chosen. See it--awesome little flick! Fer shur!!
It was 1983 and I was 13. I watched Valley Girl on HBO one night when my parents were working. After it ended I wanted to talk with someone about it immediately. Turns out my best friend watched it too and it became our favorite movie. Every weekend after that we watched it until we could recite it. We woke her parents up late at night laughing hysterically. We began to worship the main character, Julie, played by the beautiful Deborah Foreman. I am not saying this is a great classic. Although it is for me personally. And I understand that the whole Valley Girl talk becomes annoying but that was the 80's. But deep down at the heart of the movie-it is a love story, and a familiar but good one. Girl meets boy and there are sparks from both sides, an instant connection. Julie's friends don't like him-he doesn't fit in, doesn't go to their school, doesn't have money. They like her better with her ex-boyfriend the football player even though he is a jerk. She makes the ultimate sacrifice-her own happiness for her friends' happiness. And she has these really cool supportive hippie parents. It is one of Nicholas Cage's first movies and his first starring role. One minute he is absolutely hilarious and the next incredibly touching and romantic. His friend Fred is pretty funny too. If you were a teenager in the 80's you will love this movie or at the very least it will bring back memories. It is no longer my favorite movie but it is still one of my favorites, probably in my top 10. I am eagerly awaiting it's release on DVD if they ever release it. You can go to Deborah Foreman's website to sign a petition to get it released on DVD and there are 2 soundtracks from the movie that are must haves if you like 80's music.
This gem captures early 80's life brilliantly. As a grad '83 boy
myself, I must say that Valley Girl (along with Fast Times at
Ridgemont High )stands out as the class of the teen sex film
genre. The characters are accurate representatives of the era; the
vapid mall chicks, pseudo punk rebels, preppy jocks are all
I have seen this over ten times now. The music in the film was top
notch. Unfortunately, these tunes could were never as popular in
their era as those by arena cockrockers like Journey, Styx or
Loverboy. Before the soundtrack existed, I searched out records
and tapes (it was the 80's after all !) of Josie Cotton, Sparks,
Plimsouls and Modern English.
This movie deserves respect. It isn't just a good 80's teen flick. It is
a great film. Period.
This movie is one of my all time favorite movies and is what made me a
lifelong Nicolas Cage fan. Back in the mid-80's I taped this movie (when
VCR's were impossible to do this with!!) and would watch it over and over.
Nicolas Cage is just brilliant here. And, he looks wonderful and has no
affecting "acting-isms" (see "Peggy Sue Got Married" to know what I mean
about that!!). I measure all his performances against this one. He was so
perfectly cast as the cool punk guy with the edgy friends. The music was
GREAT. The Plimsouls! The Psychodelic Furs! Modern English! Men At Work!
Whenever I hear "Melt With You" I am taken back to the finale of this
What ever happened to his cute costar, Deborah Foreman? And his hysterical friend, Cameron Dye? Certainly took a different turn than Nicolas! Interestingly, the slutty friend (Elizabeth Daily) ended up being the voice of Tommy from the Rugrats (she is billed as E.G. Daily for that horrid show)! Bizarre!
IF you want to take a great trip back to the 80's, watch this movie. It is definitely a classic. Like Totally!
The first time I saw Valley Girl, I was bedridden and as sick as a dog, out of junior high school for two weeks with a nasty illness. I watched it on a tiny black and white set with the volume turned down to a whisper so my parents wouldn't hear and make me shut it off. I was mesmerized. It was a revelation. Martha Coolidge's milking of the Romeo and Juliet premise (with Nicolas Cage and Deborah Foreman filling in as star-crossed lovers in the San Fernando Valley) was smart and convincing. I was amazed by the hot "Val" chicks. I was thrilled by the interesting vocabulary words. I wanted to be like Cage's tough Randy and fall in love with a beautiful girl like Foreman's Julie to the sounds of Eddie Grant, Modern English, and The Plimsouls.
But perhaps you have to have grown up in the 80's to truly appreciate this movie. If you love the early 80's this is definitely a must see. Also, one of the best soundtracks ever!
Everyone has a great list of cinematic guilty pleasures, and "Valley Girl" has been on mine from the first time I saw it. It was clear from the first "valley view" of the San Fernando that it was several cuts above your average teen-aimed movie. Obviously, Nicolas Cage was pretty impressive, even if I had no idea of his heritage or his future. I liked Deborah Foreman, too, and the supporting cast was well-chosen. If the plot was trifling, it was at least clever and certainly not pretentious. And the music, from the opening by Foremen and her friends to the closing shot of the limo ride to Modern English's "I Melt With You," is a big plus. Overall, an very entertaining take on love across the valley of cultural differences from Martha Coolidge, who is one of our most underrated directors.
I really liked this movie, it totally reminds me of my high school days. The soundtrack is awesome. I am a huge nic cage fan and this is my favorite movie that he is in. I love the storyline, it is a total love story, against the odds kind of thing. I think anyone who graduated in the early eighties (1980-1984) should see the movie. It totally brought back memories of high school for me.
In the tradition of "Romeo and Juliet," a punker named Randy (Nicholas
Cage) begins a relationship with shallow teenage girl named Julie
(Deborah Foreman), but peer pressure from her equally shallow friends
forces her to break up and go back to her ex-boyfriend (Michael Bowen).
Randy refuses to take this lying down and tries to get Julie back. Will
Fine performances by Cage, Foreman, Frederick Forrest and Colleen Camp (as Julie's hippie parents), sensitive directing by Martha Coolidge, and totally tubular soundtrack by Modern English, The Plimsouls, and Men at Work (to name a few) makes this fun sleeper one of the best 80's teen comedies (fer shure).
My evaluation: *** out of ****
Unlike most teen movies of the era, "Valley Girl" has a sweet nature to it,
despite the presence of material like foul language, nudity, and sex. You
feel a good deal of warmth towards these characters (at least those that
deserve it). The romance itself is tender, and focuses more on genuine love
than lust. There's also a great '80s soundtrack, and the movie looks very
good for what was a $350,000 budget.
Though I feel pretty amiable towards the movie, I must admit that it was far from perfect. The movie never made clear just what attracted these two people together in the first place, nor did it make clear what they found in common that was keeping them together in the relationship. Also, the solution the protagonists use in the final minutes to resolve the crisis that came up is terribly lazy and unimaginative. Then there are some scenes (such as the subplot involving another teen attracted to an older woman) that seem to serve no real purpose. But considering the screenplay was written in just 10 days, I guess I shouldn't be surprised by these weaknesses. If they had spent the time to beef up the screenplay, this may very well have deserved the "classic" label it currently has.
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