January 3rd, 2009

VALLEY GIRL (1983) ***

Deborah (Waxwork) Foreman stars as the titular Valley Girl who dumps her boyfriend (Michael Bowen from Kill Bill) and starts dating a punk from Hollywood (Nicolas Cage in his first starring role).  Of course, all of her friends think her new boyfriend is grody and they pressure her into dumping him so that she can go to the prom with her dumb ex.  Predictably, Cage crashes the party and kicks the dude in the nuts so he can run off and bang his valley chick.


Valley Girl is a top notch 80’s teen flick that is anchored by some really great performances.  Cage is excellentt as the aloof punk and his star quality is evident even at an early age.  Foreman is immensely likable and she and Cage have a good on screen rapport with one another.  Colleen Camp and Frederic Forrest (who were also in Apocalypse Now, which was directed by Cage’s uncle, Francis Ford Coppola) are a riot as Foreman’s hippie parents who run a health food store and the always appealing Elizabeth (Pee Wee’s Big Adventure) Daily is also quite good in a small role.  (She even gets to show off her elegant ta-ta’s as well.)


The film is no by means perfect.  While the two leads have considerable chemistry, most of their screen time together is spent during a montage.  Sure, it’s one Hell of a montage (thanks largely to the fact that the immortal “Melt with You” is playing on the soundtrack), but the lovebirds fall in love, break up, and get back together again mostly because the script requires them to more than anything else.  If we could have actually had some meaningful scenes of them spending time together instead of having to take the movie’s word for it, Valley Girl could’ve been a classic.  Also, there’s this weird subplot about a dude trying to seduce his girlfriend’s mom that goes nowhere and sticks out like a sore thumb.  Even though this subplot has no bearing on anything, it does provide the audience with a quick beaver shot, which is always a good thing.


Although it kinda sounds like I’m harping on the movie, my qualms are fairly minor for the most part.  What really makes the movie memorable is the awesome 80’s soundtrack.  Not only do we get to hear the aforementioned “Melt with You” a whole lot, but we also get some rocking tunes from The Psychedelic Furs and The Plimsouls as well.  The best song in the whole damn bunch though is Josie Cotton’s “Johnny Are You Queer?”  That song is freakin’ hilarious.  Put that shit on your ipod ASAP!


Cage also appeared in Rumble Fish the same year.  


AKA:  Bad Boyz.  AKA:  College Lovers.  AKA:  Rebel Dreams.