"When they attack the car, save the radio."Valley Girl is a 1982 cult movie starring our hero, Nicolas Cage. The movie was based off the Frank Zappa song of the same name which itself is inspired by the San Fernando Valley. This is a very loose reinterpretation of a Shakespearean tale (Romeo and Juliet, Randy and Julie, get it, GET IT?) in which our protagonists don't need to commit suicide by the end of the story.
Like Alex stated in his earlier review, this movie is just all over the place. You have an entire subplot involving Suzi and her cougar Mom, Beth fighting over some dude named Chip. This subplot adds nothing to the main love story and feels like it should have been in the hands of a better production like "Days of Our Lives". Next, you have some wonderfully inept acting such as Michael Bowen doing a poor man's "Johnny Lawrence" which can be viewed below. And finally some of the writing is downright horrible. "That techno-rock you guys listen to is gutless." We get it. You like punk rock. And you probably hate New Wave because a couple of preppies beat your asses at their concert. We didn't need that message beat over our heads repeatedly. It just seemed very heavy handed and forced.
But for all of its faults, this movie has some real solid things going for it. First, even though this movie is plagued with some subpar writing, Nicolas Cage gives a solid performance as a devil may care, cocksure punk rocker from Hollywood. Sure, this might be the first appearance of Nic's "intense stare" and some weird ass eyebrows. But, this entire movie hinges on the fact that Nicolas Cage needs to portray a crazy romantic that will go to any length to get his woman. And he knocks that role out of the park.
An honorable mention should go out to Frederic Forrest. Besides looking like Sonny Bono's stunt double, Frederic plays Julie's father (and aging hippie) with a subtle but comforting touch. Watching the scene where Julie asking her Father for advice on which boy to choose is probably the best acted scene in the entire film. And Frederic's performance seems to give the whole scene an added sense of gravitas. I guess it just makes me miss my Dad.
Finally, how can you hate any movie that has such a great 80's soundtrack? I approve any movie that has Eddy Grant, Modern English and The Psychedelic Furs on it's soundtrack.
So, in conclusion, this movie is all over the place. In a way, it kind of almost feels like a John Hughes film. Except with worse writing and acting. It makes me wonder if John Hughes saw this film and said, "Hmm, I think I could do it better..." and then did make a better movie. Can we call this a John Hughes Beta project? I guess that is food for thought for another occasion. If you like Nic Cage and you like cultish 80's films, then go watch Valley Girl. It's worth your damn time.