Friday, June 28, 2013

Teen Movie Review #1: Valley Girl (1983)

     Hey guys!  Since it's Friday and i feel like I haven't been updating this blog nearly enough, I decided to throw in a movie review.  I still haven't watched Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters or Jack The Giant Slayer (even though both are sitting on my shelf waiting).  So I'm going back to a favorite of mine, which is what we YA nerds like to call a 'teen' movie! :)  I'm coming up with the criteria for this review kind of on the fly so please bear with me!  Plus it's really early in the morning and almost bedtime for me.  Cause as my friends and family will tell you, I stay up about three or four hours past everyone else's normal bedtimes.  Without Further adieu, here is one of the five (maybe six) Nic Cage movies I can stand at all: Valley Girl.

Availability:  DVDYouTubeNetflix
Reason:  To See Yet Another Star-Crossed Couple Find Love (Old Friends or New Ones)

The Low Down According to IMDB:  

Julie, a girl from the Valley, meets Randy, a punk from the city.  They are from different worlds and find love.  Somehow they need to stay together in spite of her trendy, shallow friends.

My Take On Things: 

Randy and Julie are two teens from different worlds - or at least their zip codes make it seem like that's how it is.  But when they meet its instant attraction.  Can they overcome her snobby friends and expectations of how things are 'supposed to be' or are they doomed from the start?  Also, Julie's hippie parents and douchebag, wannabe ex-boyfriend provide some serious entertainment value along the way.  Plus there is a skeevy subplot about one of Julie's friends, Suzi, competing for the romantic attentions of her friend Skip with her young stepmother.  All in all, about what you'd expect from an 80's film - especially one mostly cribbed off of Romeo and Juliet! 

The Cast:

Nicolas Cage as Randy

This has the distinction of being the only movie in which I ever though Nic Cage was hot.  The chemistry between him and Deborah Foreman is OFF THE CHARTS.  He makes a very convincing punk and yet has an underlying sweetness that lets you know he's just a big ball of fluff inside - even with the leather and crazy hair.  Plus, bonus is that he has hair in this - with no signs of balding.  Ahhh, for the days of youth! :)

Deborah Foreman as Julie

I don't know what happened to her acting career over the years after this movie, but maybe staying out of the spotlight isn't such a bad thing if being in it means you make horrendous movies like some of the ones Cage has been in!  She has such a sweet spark in this movie and her smile is absolutely GORGEOUS.  Yes, the feathered hair is questionable and she does go to the prom with Tommy instead of Randy (which is seriously insane people!).  But Julie also happens to be a teenager and for her age she does a decent job of being true to herself and I wouldn't mind go shopping for an afternoon with her.  Plus, there is always the adorableness of this:


Michael Bowen as Tommy

His clothing alone and it's preppiness makes it obvious that he's a) A complete douchebag, and b) The enemy in every way.  He's no Hardy Jenns but he plays a good enough sleazebag that you want to punch him in the face.  Plus, apparently someone thinks he's a pretty good actor cause IMDB informs me that he was in Beverly Hills Cop III, seven episodes of LOST, some really random one episode parts on lots of TV shows, and most recently (and notably) was in an episode of Breaking Bad, along with a small role in Django Unchained.  

Elizabeth Daily as Loryn

The most gullible of Julie's friends and is known as the group slut.  Immediately falls into Tommy's web of bullshit after Julie dumps him and allows him to go almost all the way, only stopping short of the one last event.  Watching the movie you can't help but feel bad for her, cause it's obvious that all she wants is desperately to be liked.  The outfits are atrocious and the actions are worse, but the heart's in the right place.  And she went on to be Dottie in Pee Wee's Big Adventure.  After that it was all voice work, most famously Tommy on Rugrats and Buttercup on Powerpuff Girls.  I know, right? :)

Frederic Forrest as Steve Richman (Julie's Dad)

He is absolutely hilarious as one half of a hippie relationship, whose parenting style towards Julie is so out of touch with the times.  The health food store scene when she's 'working' is a really great example of this.  But he's just uncool because he's a Dad.  He still loves her though and is definitely one of the less cookie cutter teen movie parents in existence.  In the picture above he's supposed to be getting the camera for Prom pictures...he's smoking weed instead.  IT beats shining a shotgun I guess!

*I did not spotlight Julie's friend Stacy or Randy's friend Fred, mainly because Fred is somewhat of a clueless creep (even if he is somewhat funny) and Stacey spends all her screen time complaining (and not in a humorous way either).  Neither of them are very interesting characters in my opinion when up against the others in the movie.

Romance Rating Scale:  5/10 (Sweet, with an edge)

There is too much dithering and wishy washy behavior on Julie's behalf while trying to follow the pack for this to be truly swoonworthy.  There are a couple hot makeout sessions, but mostly its just beautiful smiles and angst (the best way to mirror R&J, anyways).

The Soundtrack:  

Not really sure how to grade this, other than on personal enjoyment.  Martha Coolidge definitely has an ear for music and the stuff that's played for Julie and her freinds fits them to a tee.  It's the same for when they're cruising Hollywood on Randy's side of things.  My favorite usage of a song in this though would be Modern English "I Melt With You" being played during the Julie/Randy montage and then the end credits.  It fits the spirit of the movie and the whirlwind, consuming romance that the two become involved in.  Also liked Josie Cotton's "Johnny Are You Queer?" and The Plimsouls "A Million Miles Away."  The whole soundtrack is killer though and deserves a listen.

Recommended Viewing:

If you're in the mood for a sweet romance, some smiles and tears involved, this would be the one for you.  With punk-boy Cage, a pint of your favorite ice cream and comfy pair of PJs this is great Saturday night viewing for a relaxed night in.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are much appreciated and I always read them with a smile on my face! :) While I appreciate the thought, this an award-free blog as well. I just don't have the time to keep up with it. Thank you for my smiles and please share your thoughts! Also, sorry for the Captcha, but I've been getting a lot of spam lately!