POP GOES THE DECADE- A totally rad look back at the glorious 80's and all the flicks, fashions, tunes, and TV shows that made the decade so cool and memorable in the first place. Like, for sure!

Monday, July 18, 2011


         "Valley Girl" is a delightful and legendary 80's time capsule that will always have a special place in my heart.  From the first time I caught it on HBO in the summer of 1984, I immediately fell in love with this movie. It's definitely one of the best 80's comedies of all time- easily joining the ranks of such classic teen romps as "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" and "Sixteen Candles".  "Valley Girl" is a deliciously retro snapshot of a specific time and place in pop culture- Southern California in the early 80's, to be exact.  The Valley Girl craze was all the rage at the time, and the New Wave in music had just exploded in a sonic boom that's still reverberating today.  "Valley Girl" captures this time in history perfectly.

          Deborah Foreman stars as Julie, who's dating high school hunk Tommy, and lives in the San Fernando valley with her friends. One night at a party they meet two guys from Hollywood. There is an instant attraction between Julie and Randy, an outsider played to perfection by Nicholas Cage. Sparks fly, but there is resistance from both sides. Randy and his bf Fred, are punks from Hollywood- whereas Julie and her circle of friends are from the Valley.  These kids are from two separate worlds here, and a great and timeless love story begins to play out in front of us.  Only set to a seriously kick-ass New Wave soundtrack.

        Cage and Foreman have real chemistry here, and it's obvious ten minutes into the movie that it's a notch or two above your typical sleazy 80's sex flick.  "Valley Girl" comes across as quite adult and sophisticated, while at the same time lovingly and realistically showcasing teen life.  The film offers the requisite profanity and occasional nudity, but is actually far more sweet and innocent.  And intelligent. 

         Deborah Foreman and Nicholas Cage make this movie, plain and simple.  Director Martha Coolidge deliciously captured their crackling chemistry onscreen- Cage's Randy is the perfect match for Foreman's Julie, and they are a delight to watch together.  Colleen Camp and Frederic Forrest are a hoot as Julie's hippy parents, and 80's staples Elizabeth Daily (Dottie in "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure), Michael Bowen (Larry in "Night Of The Comet"), and Lee Purcell (Susan in "Stir Crazy") only add to the movie. 

    I honestly can't find anything negative to say about "Valley Girl".  It's simply one of the best teen comedies of the decade- possibly of all time.  On top of the classic star-crossed lovers storyline, a killer cast and a killer soundtrack help shoot "Valley Girl" into the stratosphere of 80's coolness.  Two decades later, the film offers major nostalgic value to anybody who was lucky enough to grow up in that magical time period.  Yet still remains as fresh and relevant as when it was first released.  Everything about this movie works.


        Deborah Foreman is absolutely charming in this movie- she exudes an effortless cool that's only more tubular now.  She's an 80's icon for sure, and she was born to play this role.  "Valley Girl" is far above your mindless 80's sex comedy.  It's got heart, it's got charming characters you root for, and some real acting involved.  This film belongs in any serious 80's collection.  And any movie that offers the immortal classic "I Melt With You" by Modern English on the soundtrack is totally cool in my book.  Epic on all levels.

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