Valley Girl Reviews
The film is directly comparable to films from the 80's such as: Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982), Pretty in Pink (1986), & Making The Grade (1984). I always felt this film was much better than Fast Times. They are both classics, but Valley Girl is definitely more thought provoking. You may also find aspects of this film in other 80's flics such as Sixteen Candles (1984) & the very 90's teen sex comedy Trojan War (1997).
With a good soundtrack & really good performances all over the board. Do not miss this hidden gem of a film.
It must be said that a lot of the hilarious moments in the movie were probably unintentional. Nic Cage is pretty good, but most of the acting in the movie was pretty bad. I had to laugh a lot at how unsubtle all the characters' reactions were, especially Julie herself, just standing in the middle of the crowd at the party and staring at Randy. Also, there's a lot of scenes that are just weird, like when Julie's mom is massaging her dad really aggressively. That scene was just really odd because I didn't really understand the conversation or why the mom was massaging him to the point of shoving him around. My parents and I were watching it, and we all laughed, but partly just out of confusion. The pacing of both the story and the individual scenes in general seems kind of amateurish. And, of course, there's a lot of fun to be had making fun of the ridiculous outfits, hairstyles, and ways of speaking - words and phrases like 'bitchin',' 'way cool,' 'tubular,' 'freakin' out,' and 'I'm so sure!' are really goofy but great.
If there was one thing in the movie I actually had a problem with, it was Julie's characterization. Julie was so utterly unlikable, to the point that it swung all the way back around to being funny (maybe just because I was watching it with people, and we all had fun hating on her). Deborah Foreman's acting was really bad to begin with. Then there's the fact that, honestly, Julie is an idiot. It comes through in a lot of scenes, like in her dumb responses to her friends who are giving her advice on who to date. There's one scene in particular when she seemed moronic; after Julie's dad gives her a long analogy about how she shouldn't reject something just because it's different (or whatever), Julie says, "Okay. But who do I choose, Randy or Tommy?" It sounds so vapid, of course, but I can't fault her much for that, since that's the movie's image of the valley girl. It's more dumb just because her dad laid out a whole analogy for her, and she still can't get it. It would've been funny if her dad just replied, "Do you really not get what I just said?"
Julie is also kind of a tease, switching back and forth between Randy and Tommy at almost random times. Tommy was a jerk, of course, but when she threw a cake or whatever in his face at the end, I had to feel a little bad for the guy. It wasn't like Randy swooped in and made one big last romantic monologue about how he loves Julie and doesn't want her to end their beautiful relationship over a simple difference in images. Randy basically just showed up, and she immediately accepted him back and ran away from Tommy. It was an odd character choice.
Anyways, as bad as that character arc sounds, it didn't make me not enjoy the movie. I think it just made the central romance matter a little less to me. The whole thing is super entertaining and funny, but it wasn't a romance that I was deeply invested in because despite Nic Cage's good work, Julie was a pretty shitty character. I was actually more into Suzy and Fred's possible romance. Another unintentional funny moment: how Fred keeps just chasing Suzy around the car, and she KEEPS yelling, "Fred! Stop!" It's just incessant, and, again, hilarious how unlikable Suzy is at some points, with her constant whining. Maybe it was all that complaining that made me want to see her give in to Fred (that sounds weirdly phrased, but you know what I mean), but I liked the characters of Suzy and Fred.
Looking back at what I've written, this movie seems a lot like a hate-watch. Maybe it is, kind of. Watching it by myself, I don't think I would've had as much fun. Still, despite any issues or unintentional humor, I have a soft spot for old comedies like this that are hopelessly outdated. Clueless, for example, is a much better movie, but I also liked the goofy language similar to Valley Girl. Besides, the movie isn't all bad. The central romance was sweet, and I was surprised by how much I loved the soundtrack, which I'll be listening to in the future. And a lot of the laughs were intentional, like when Randy yells, "Fuck off, for sure! Totally" to mock Julie's valley girl speech, or when that weird rando in the health food store offers to comfort Julie. It's a movie that's probably outdated, but if the technical skill lost turns into just as many laughs and fun, I don't mind at all.
not that Nicolas Cage and Deborah Foreman are bad actors, I actually like their characters
they address all the various social statuses and cliques of which people associate with and how they are divided from the Valley to the rest of the area
it's just that the film spends a long time in the beginning to get things rolling, the dialogue is awkwardly written and the series of montages stretches the movie far too long