‘Valley Girl’ Blu-ray review: Like, Totally Bitchin’

valley girl

I used to celebrate ’60s nostalgia. Now it’s the ’80s. The styles and the music were such fun. And no cell phones! So any movie or TV series shot in the era doesn’t have characters incessantly interrupted or distracted by their phone fixation.

No, they can focus — and in the case of 1983’s Valley Girl (just out on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory), the focus is a lively if not exhilarating boy-girl romance.

The boy is Randy (Nicolas Cage), a punkish guy from LA. The girl is Julie (Deborah Foreman), a trendy girl from the suburban valley. When her friends balk at her out-of-step and less than totally tubular suitor, peer pressure causes a Romeo and Juliet rift.

The magical scene that always stands out for me in this 1983 frolic, directed with verve and compassion by Martha Coolidge, is a gloriously magical montage of Randy and Julie’s first heady dates, scored with Modern English’s I Melt With You. Hey, that song alone is reason enough to wax nostalgic for the ’80s.

And, of course, the costume-like styles are bitchin’, from the feathered hair to the torn jeans and bold colors. Hey, I was just in LA and Malibu, and a bit of that is back. The torn jeans, anyway.

It’s also good to see some notable actors in the supporting cast, including Frederic Forrest (an Oscar nominee for 1980’s The Rose) and Colleen Camp as Julie’s aging-hippie parents.

The new Blu-ray also packs bulging shoulder pads full of extras, including a new conversation with Coolidge; a retrospective on the San Fernando Valley; and extended interviews from 2003 with Cage, Forrest, Camp and others.

All in all, it’s quite simple: If you love love — and have at least a fondness for the ’80s —  you should love this charming romantic comedy. Now stash that cell phone and watch it!

— Bruce Westbrook







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