“Valley Girl” (1983) - Sam Gall Movie Review Issue #42 Gem Mint 10.0

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

“Valley Girl“ (1983)

Director: Martha Coolidge

Writer: Andrew Lane & Wayne Crawford

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Deborah Foreman, Elizabeth Daily, Michael Bowen, Cameron Dye, Heidi Holicker, Collen Camp, Frederic Forrest

Rated: R

Runtime: 1 hour 39 min

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Julie, a girl from the valley, meets Randy, a punk from the city. They are from different worlds and find love. Somehow they need to stay together in spite of her trendy, shallow friends.

You might like this if you like: romance, comedy, rom-coms, Nicolas Cage, Deborah Foreman, Elizabeth Daily, Michael Bowen, Martha Coolidge films, 80s movies, 80s nostalgia, 80s music, "The Graduate" (1967), "Dazed and Confused" (1993), "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (1982), "Clueless" (1995), any John Hughes films like "Breakfast Club" (1985), "Sixteen Candles" (1984) etc, "Superbad" (2007), "Take Me Home Tonight" (2011)

Deborah Foreman (left) & Nicolas Cage (right) in "Valley Girl" (1983)

The only stars I was familiar with other than Cage going in were Michael Bowen and Elizabeth Daily who were absolutely great in this film. Bowen plays one of the greatest 80s a-holes you’ll ever see. I’ve been a fan of his work for a long time now. Daily I had seen in an old episode of NBC's “Friends” as Phoebe’s old singing partner/friend. Deborah Foreman as the lead swept me off my feet. She’s just a charm to watch on screen especially with a young (possibly the youngest I’ve ever seen him) Nicolas Cage. My two favorite characters though had to be Deborah Foreman's parents played by Colleen Camp and Frederic Forrest. They brought a wonderful touch and charm to the "goofy parents" cliche!

Michelle Meyrink (left), Heidi Holicker (middle), Elizabeth Dailey (right) in "Valley Girl" (1983)

I don’t want to analyze the plot too much because I consider this film a nice “easy” watch. We see many of the rom-com tropes and cliches these days but I’m sure that feeling wasn’t as strong back in 1983 when maybe there weren’t so many rom-coms made yet. There were a lot, don’t get me wrong! Just compared to today’s world of content it’s just overwhelming. I love the film for what it is. For its time. I love the “bad” parts especially. If that makes sense. Part of its charm I feel is its “cheesiness”. The extras dancing in the background, one-liners or whatever it may be all adds up to the 1983 “Valley Girl” experience.

Michael Bowen (left) & Deborah Foreman (right) in "Valley Girl" (1983)

The one thing I thought was interesting, well the title kind of tells you, was the aspect of two different worlds colliding. They even have a nice little “Romeo & Juliet” homage in the film. Of course they had to. Coming from someone who comes from a small town I can relate to the feeling of coming to Los Angeles or New York and feeling out of your element and maybe even overwhelmed. The different lifestyles and personalities that come with both are fascinating and wonderfully explored in this film in a sweet and humorous fashion.

"Valley Girl" (1983)

This is just one of my favorite 80s rom coms. It’s sweet, easy to watch, hilarious and filled with rockin’ tunes! Nicolas Cage is always entertaining. He was certainly my in for this film along with an already established love for the genre that “Valley Girl” is; high school, 80s, rom-com, romantic, comedy. I guess I was just in the mood for all of those when I first discovered this!

Written by Sam Gall on 08/22/20

CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0

"The core of the film is universal, the struggle of fitting in with your friends and finding that first spark of love." - Sean Mulvhill, FanboyNation.com

"...captures that sense of exploring beyond your narrow world for the first time." - Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm

"Director Martha Coolidge turned a short-lived fad into a genuine sleeper, an exploitation film that thoroughly transcends its origins to become a highly appealing romantic comedy." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

Official Trailer:

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