Until now, I've never seen Martha Coolidge's 1983 film, Valley Girl. I'm not usually one for romantic comedies, but having recently lived in "the valley," I was interested. Of course, this is also the film that was Nicolas Cage's first starring role.
Normally, a film like this isn't my jam, but I try to step outside my usual boundries now and then. This film is light and breezy, bathed in the warm glow of early '80s Southern California --- with a great soundtrack.
It's the classic boy-meets-girl type of film, and they can't be together, because one of them is from the wrong side of the tracks, except in this case, the wrong side of the Hollywood Hills. Julie (Deborah Foreman) meets Randy (Nicolas Cage) randomly at a beach and then a party later that night, and as so often happens with young kids, they can't get enough of each other, structured social norms be damned.
However, it isn't long until Julie's friends pressure her to get back with popular bonehead Tommy (Michael Bowen). She goes along with it, but until then, she was so smitten with bad boy Randy that the conflict seemed forced. You know where this is going --- there's only a matter of time before Julie will realize that going along with what her friends want is silly, and she gets back with her true love.
I can't say I know much about the history of the film, but I know that it's become a classic for a certain group of people. It's also interesting to see how early Nic Cage is still the crazy Nic Cage we all know, just in early form. Watch the film and you'll see what I mean. As a filmmaker, I was wowed to see how good he was, so young. At age 16 or 17, he'd stopped using his last name Coppola in favor of "Cage" to try to make it on his own, and Valley Girl is the very beginning of a long career.
The film itself looks pretty good on this release, after the initial opening, which is grainy. Varying levels of grain and murkiness return throughout the picture for certain scenes, but it shouldn't be enough to bother the casual viewer. Sound is great.
Fun fact that you'll learn from the special features: the little Hollywood club in which they shot a few scenes was bought by Johnny Depp (an old friend of Cage's) and became The Viper Room.
Speaking of special features, it was interesting to hear the producers and writers talk of meeting Quentin Tarantino and how much he loved the film, and was able to recite dialogue verbatim. Tarantino also hired Tommy (Michael Bowen) from Valley Girl for roles in Jackie Brown, Kill Bill, and Django Unchained.
SO many radical, totally tubular special features:
Watch the trailer for the film and find out more at Shout Factory's page here.