“Nobody’s going to tell me who I can score with!”
A popular “valley girl” (Deborah Foreman) breaks up with her boring boyfriend (Michael Bowen) and begins dating a guy (Nicolas Guy) from across town — but soon her friends peer-pressure her into rethinking her romantic choices.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Cross-Class Romance
- Fredric Forrest Films
- Nicolas Cage Films
Martha Coolidge directed this insipid teen romance about a blonde (Foreman) with an infectious smile who is suddenly struck with the urge to break free from her usual routine and milieu. Unfortunately, her character and all other members of her clique are either utterly uninteresting or obnoxiously annoying; perhaps this was intentional, to demonstrate why Foreman is so eager for adventure — but since we don’t care much for her either (she’s two-dimensional), it’s hard to put much stock in her wishy-washy romantic foibles. Cage is fine, but essentially wasted in his first starring role; Cameron Dye as his best buddy looks hauntingly like a young Quentin Tarantino in many shots (I was convinced it was him for the longest time).
Fredric Forrest and Colleen Camp are on hand to presumably provide some chuckles as Foreman’s former-hippie parents who run a health food store and are ultra-hip about their daughter’s lifestyle choices — but all the comedic elements of this script pretty much fall flat.
Note: What’s up with the creepy clown Foreman sleeps with?!
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Fun historic shots of 1980s L.A.
- Frederick Elmes’ cinematography
Nope; this one is strictly must-see for nostalgic fans.
One thought on “Valley Girl (1983)”
First viewing. Not must-see.
I don’t know that I’d call the film “insipid” BUT… I would say it has ’80s popcorn / teen flick stamped on it. ~which makes it sort of dated (as in, maybe not all that relevant to modern teens, possibly not even those in California). But then, I don’t think the phrase ‘shelf life’ occurred to anyone involved in the making of the film. Seems it was designed mainly to make money in the summer of 1983.
I’ve seen worse teen movies – but that’s not exactly a recommendation for this one. I did like its focus on peer pressure – at least it gives the film a little something extra to hinge on.
Camp and Forrest are kind of fun and have a nice tone together as the Woodstock-era parents but their time amounts to a few cameos.
I should also note that, since I have a fondness for Elizabeth Daily’s performance as Dottie in ‘Pee-wee’s Big Adventure’, it was nice seeing her in something else of the same period. But her role here, by comparison, is insignificant.
Strangest song in the pop score: ‘Johnny, Are You Queer?’, sung live at the prom (?!). It’s a weird, sort of passive-aggressive sentiment for a song anyway – but at a prom?!
And definitely – what *is* up with that creepy clown Foreman sleeps with?! Like – whatever, I’m so sure! 😉