There was a certain kind of pure, sweet romantic expression in a number of films of the eighties: Sixteen Candles, The Sure Thing, The Breakfast Club… and Valley Girl (1983). For some, Nicolas Cage wore out his welcome in a way not unlike Tom Cruise, but I will always respect and admire his better performances, so many of which occurred before he leapt into super-stardom during the age of Face/Off.
With its share of standard 80’s goofiness, Valley Girl won’t be mistaken for a contemporary, overly sophisticated film. That’s a good thing — it’s fun and romantic, and I like it. The soundtrack featuring “I Melt with You” is a bonus.
A nice article on the picture at kleph.com begins:
Valley Girl is a film that really had no right to be as good as it actually turned out to be. It emerged from the odious low-budget teen flick genre that was almost inescapable [in] the early ’80s.
…to a certain point, when you are 17-years-old there are just a handful of things in your world that really matter and mutually assured destruction dents that sense of priorities only intermittently.
More often it’s eclipsed by that terribly beautiful sense of possibility and optimism wrapped up in a litany of horrible embarrassments that are the hallmark of one’s teen years.Valley Girl, somehow, captures all of that and instead of trying it hammer the point home, has the grace to understand acknowledging it is sufficient and let it be.