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Film / Valley Girl

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"This is the story of Randy and Julie. The way they come together and the people who try to pull them apart. Julie's cool. Randy's hot. She's from the Valley. He's... not!"
Trailer for the film

A 1983 romantic comedy directed by Martha Coolidge, starring Nicolas Cage and Deborah Foreman.

Julie (Foreman) is, like, so over her preppy boyfriend, she dumps him on the escalator at the Galleria. When she meets punker Randy (Cage), her eyes practically bug out because she thinks he's sexy, even though he makes her friends gag! Even if Randy's ready to stop the world and melt with her, though, can Julie risk losing her friends and her super-popularity at school just to be with him?

This film was made to cash in on the "Valley girl" fad launched by Frank Zappa's hit song of the same name. True love is only a zip code away!

In 2020, this film got a Jukebox Musical remake by Orion Classics.

Provides Examples Of:

  • '80s Hair: Perms, bowl cuts, mohawks, perms, feathered hair, ringlets as far as the eye can see.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Fred, for Stacey.
  • Call-Back / Call-Forward: Josie Cottonís band is called the Party Crashers. Randy and Fred crashed Suziís party early on in the film, and when the band is introduced at the Valley High junior prom, Randy and Fred are about to intrude on that venue as well.
  • Culture Clash: Julie is from the Valley and Randy is a punk who attends Hollywood High. Julie's friends don't care for Randy, and Randy's friend Fred doesn't care for the Valley girls, save for Stacey, with whom he becomes infatuated.
    • Additionally, Suzi and Stacey are unaware of, or choose to ignore, Tommy's Jerkass traits simply because he is a "bitchin'" example of what they consider to be an ideal Valley dude. Not only that, but the looks that Stacey often gives Tommy and her constant referring to him as a hunk seem to hint that she might have wanted him for herself.
    • On the flip side, the Valley Girls are quick to dismiss Julie's glowing praise of Randy, simply because he is from Hollywood.
      • The Valley Girls' distaste for Randy is ironic in hindsight when taken into account that they practically drooled at the sight of him at the beach earlier. Of course, people are not likely to wear their street clothes at the beach, so Stacey had no way of knowing that the "hunk" that had caught her attention would be the Hollywood punk who would later romance her best friend.
    • After Randy and Fred are tossed from Suzi's party, Randy remarks that Julie is "truly dazzling." Fred counters with, "But she's not one of ours," as he ushers Randy back to his car.
  • Did You Just Have Sex?: At the Valley High junior prom, when Loryn sees Suzi's huge smile after Skip and Suzi arrive late to the event, she puts two and two together and straight up asks Suzi if she's been getting laid.
  • Fanservice: Tommy seduces Loryn out of her bra, and there's a steamy sex scene between Skip and who the audience is made to believe is Beth, but turns out to be Suzi.
  • Fight Scene: Randy fights Tommy, Julie's on-again, off-again boyfriend, at the prom.
  • Fish out of Water: Randy and Fred try to navigate the scene at Suzi's party, enduring hostile stares from the majority of the guests. On the flip side, Randy and Fred introduce Julie and Stacey to their punk scene. Julie rolls with the punches, but Stacey is visibly repulsed.
  • Food Fight: Julie kicks one off at the prom by smashing a plate of guacamole in Tommy's face. Randy and Fred escalate things by pelting popcorn and snacks at the crowd. The melee that follows is meant to buy time for Julie and Randy to escape the prom together.
  • Foreign Queasine: Suzi and Beth serve sushi ("Like, this is your tuna, that's flying fish egg, and that's sea urchin.") at the party. Sushi was apparently not nearly as popular in Hollywood as it was in the Valley at the time, which would explain Randy's and Fred's reactions to seeing the Valley kids eating and enjoying the party fare.
    • In Randy and Fred's defense, the sushi served at Suzi's party did not look particularly appetizing.
    • A freeze frame of the sushi platters as Suzi describes them shows that most of the sushi appeared to be rolls filled with vegetarian ingredients like cucumber, kampyo (Japanese gourd), and daikon pickles, with hardly a scrap of tuna, flying fish eggs, or sea urchin roe in sight. Given the film's low budget and the relatively high cost of the ingredients named, the vegetables were more than likely used in the sushi both to stay within budget and to minimize spoilage, given that fresh seafood would have gone bad quickly under the bright lights used in filming.
    • Randy eats a smear of wasabi, believing it to be "pistachio paste." His reaction is low-key, but he apparently did not enjoy what he ate.
  • Friend to All Children: Loryn. During the sleepover at Suzi's house, she is the only one who pays attention to Suzi's preteen sister, Peggy, and actually seems to enjoy her company when everyone is dancing. When Suzi angrily tells Peggy to get lost after the latter accidentally bumps into the record player, Loryn sticks up for Peggy.
  • Groin Attack: After Tommy makes a huge show of some martial arts-type moves during their Fight Scene, Randy unleashes the low blow on him.
  • Heroic BSoD: Randy, after Julie dumps him. He goes on a drinking binge, has a heated make-out session with his ex-girlfriend, and is about to brawl with a car full of lowriders before Fred singlehandedly rescues him.
  • Hippie Parents: Julie's parents own a health food restaurant, wear Birkenstocks, and are the epitome of Hippiedom.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Skip and Suzi. He had gone to her house, hoping to score with Beth, but found Suzi instead. The scene is presented so that it appears that Skip is having sex with Beth after having found her in the shower, with Suzi returning home while this is happening, but The Reveal shows that Beth was the one coming home to catch Skip and Suzi in the act.
  • Jerkass: Tommy. At Suzi's party, he tries to make Julie jealous by deliberately walking or dancing by her with any one of several girls also in attendance. It doesn't work. Tommy later tries to bed Loryn, but when she insists that having sex will make them a couple, he reverses gears and tells her he won't tell if she doesn't. Of course, not only does he tell his friends, but he lies that the sex was good. When he catches wind of Julie talking to Randy, he and his cronies throw him and Fred out of the house.
  • Mrs. Robinson / Stacy's Mom: Beth. She and Skip are clearly attracted to each other, and Beth even lampshades the trope when Skip comes over to deliver groceries. When Suzi calls Skip to invite him over to the house during an unsupervised slumber party (Beth is on a date), he declines, muttering his disappointment after hanging up. Subverted when Skip goes to Beth's house, looking for her, and is apparently having sex with her when Suzi comes home, but Beth turns out to be the one who comes home and discovers Skip in her bed... with Suzi!
  • Open-Minded Parent: When Julie and Stacey get set to leave for Suzi's party, Steve and Sarah tell Julie to be back "by Tuesday"; contrast with Stacey's parents, who are said to want Stacey home by 1 AM. Sarah explains that she and Steve try to give Julie all the space she "needs."
  • Precision F-Strike: At Suzi's slumber party:
    Julie: I'll start my diet tomorrow.
    Stacey: You better watch out, 'cause, like, Randy might like the Hollywood lean look.
    Suzi: Yeah, but blimps don't get to go with Tommy.
    Julie: Who?
    Suzi: Tommy!
    Julie: Who?
    Suzi, Stacey, and Loryn (in unison): Tommy!!
    Julie: Fuck him!!
  • Property of Love: Symbolized by Tommy's ID bracelet (in the 1980's, it was trendy for girls to wear their boyfriends' ID bracelets to signify that they "belonged" to said boyfriends). Julie returns Tommy's to him when she breaks up with him at the mall. When Julie gets back together with Tommy after being pressured into it by her friends, the first thing he does is put his bracelet back on her wrist. As Randy and Julie ride to the Valley Sheraton after escaping from the Valley High junior prom, Julie slides Tommy's bracelet off her wrist and looks at it for a moment before chucking it out the window.
    • At the start of the film, Julie remarks that she and Tommy have been together so long, she feels like a piece of furniture, specifically, an old chair.
  • Really Gets Around: Stacey and Julie have a conversation in which Stacey says that she believes that Loryn does the things she says she does. Julie, however, is not convinced, though she does worry for Loryn's safety. Stacey's suspicions turn out to be true; Loryn makes out with a drunken Tommy at Suzi's party and is prepared to go further. When she insists that doing the nasty will cement them as a couple, however, Tommy backs off and tells her, "I won't tell if you won't." Of course, Tommy, being the Jerkass that he is, not only tells, but lies to his friends, saying that he and Loryn did go all the way.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Randy, especially during the scene when Tommy and his friends eject him and Fred from Suzi's party and the scene after, when he decides that he and Fred are returning to Suzi's house so that he can try again to connect with Julie. He drops way more F-bombs during just those scenes than the rest of the cast does during the whole of the movie.
  • Stalking Is Love: Randy. He sneaks into Suzi's house after being thrown out and hides into the upstairs bathroom, waiting and hoping that Julie will eventually come in. The next day, he shows up unannounced at the Richmans' health food store to see her. After Julie dumps him, Randy accosts her on her way to school, which doesn't go well. She later finds photo booth pictures of him in her schoolbooks, and that he has dedicated a song to her on the radio. Randy then goes all about the Valley, getting jobs in places where Julie just happens to go. The final straw comes when Julie catches him sleeping on the lawn outside her bedroom window.
  • Starcrossed Lovers: Heavily lampshaded by Randy and Julie's names, and when they kiss in front of a movie marquee bearing the title.
  • The Bro Code: Averted. Loryn makes out with Tommy at Suzi's party and would have slept with him, had he not balked at her insistence that if they did, they would be "going together."
  • The Mall: Sherman Oaks' former Galleria, to be exact, though most of the mall scenes were filmed at the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, CA.
  • Valley Girl: Like, duh! The core four girls to the max, with the exception of Loryn. In the DVD commentary for the film, E.G. Daily admitted that she had no idea what Valley Girls were supposed to sound like, so she decided that Loryn would be from Malibu in order to explain why her speech pattern was somewhat different from the other girls'. Malibu borders the Valley, or is otherwise close enough to it (much more so than Hollywood proper, though the city of North Hollywood is actually within the Valley) for Julie, Stacey, and Suzi to not mind that Loryn was not a true Valley Girl.
    • Considering that Malibu was, and still is, one of the beach spots in southern California, befriending Loryn apparently came with a few perks.
  • With Us or Against Us: Suzi, Stacey, and Loryn to Julie, regarding Randy, to various degrees.
    • Stacey is the most vocal in her disapproval and puts the most pressure on Julie to break up with Randy and reunite with Tommy. Her vehement disapproval seems to stem not just from her prejudice against non-Valley folk, but also from her anxiety that, if word got out about her unplanned trip to Hollywood, she might be ostracized the way that she insinuates that everyone will do to Julie if Julie continues to date Randy. And this is the one that Julie calls her best friend!
    • Suzi seems to be unable to form her own opinion and merely follows Stacey's lead, though she is much less overtly hostile towards Julie than Stacey is.
    • Loryn, however, seems conflicted. She goes along with Stacey and Suzi in dogging Julie about Randy when the clique is together, but when she and Julie are by themselves at Du-par's and Julie asks her for advice about the situation, Loryn earnestly admits that she, too, doesn't know what to do.
    • Julie, despite her better judgment, caves in to peer pressure and announces her intent to break up with Randy. Stacey tells Julie that she's done the right thing and Suzi just smiles approvingly. Loryn, though, looks visibly uncomfortable, but says nothing.