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  Valley Girl Like, Totally
Year: 1983
Director: Martha Coolidge
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Deborah Foreman, E.G. Daily, Michael Bowen, Cameron Dye, Heidi Holicker, Michelle Meyrink, Tina Theberge, Lee Purcell, Richard Sanders, Colleen Camp, Frederic Forrest, David Ensor, Joanne Baron, Tony Plana, Tony Markes
Genre: Comedy, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Julie (Deborah Foreman) is a typical Californian Valley Girl who likes nothing better than shopping for clothes at the Galleria with her friends, which is what she is doing today. She decides after a conversation with her fellow Valley Girls to dump her boyfriend Tommy (Michael Bowen) because not only is he taking her for granted, but she just doesn't love him anymore, and she tells him so when they pass on the escalator. At the beach, Julie's friend Stacey (Heidi Holicker) invites them all to a party at her house, this is overheard by punker Fred (Cameron Dye), friend of Randy (Nicolas Cage) and they invite themselves over for a fateful night...

Valley Girl joined other films based on songs like, um, Ode to Billy Joe or, erm, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, but not only is this film very little to do with the Frank Zappa song but today looks like one of the better, if not classic, teen movies of the eighties. Written by Wayne Crawford and Andrew Lane, it proves that there was more to the genre than John Hughes' efforts, and adds swearing, sex and nudity into the mix, making this the missing link between Porky's and Pretty in Pink. It is also one of the works responsible for the minor Deborah Foreman cult, even though she looks like a regional news presenter here.

Why is Fred and Randy's quiet gatecrashing of the party fateful? Because that's where Randy and Julie meet, that's why. They have already noticed each other briefly on the beach, but when he goes over to talk to her there's an immediate attraction, for the only reason that there would be no story without it. That plot is paper thin, but does contrive to put its lovers on rival sides, and if you were in doubt at the inspiration for this then the shot of Randy and Julie embracing under an illuminated theatre sign for Romeo and Juliet should set you right.

But before we arrive at their date, Randy gets thrown out of the party by the obnoxious Tommy (who has been keeping busy attempting to seduce Julie's friend in an upstairs bedroom). But he's smitten with Julie and after driving around in a bad mood for a bit Randy winds up back at the party and sneaks in through the bathroom window, hiding in the shower until Julie enters. When she does, Randy persuades her to leave with him, and although she takes Stacey along with her for protection, Julie gives in to Randy's charms and his tour of Hollywood.

There's not much else to the film but that really, Julie's friends object to Randy, he makes an enemy of Tommy, but love conquers all - unlike a certain John Hughes movie, the right guy gets the right girl. And as a comedy, they could have relied on a constant stream of "bitchin'", "totally" and "fer sure" to secure easy laughs, but they don't go down that route, in fact the funniest sequence is where Randy repeatedly tries to get back with Julie after she has rejected him due to peer pressure. There are flaws, in that it isn't funny enough, the younger actresses look the same age as those playing their mothers, and it's all lacking in innovation (there's even a Graduate-style subplot dropped in), but it is sweet natured and Cage and Foreman are appealing together. Listen for the "please buy the soundtrack album" song selection throughout.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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