“When They Attack The Car, Save The Radio”: Remembering “Valley Girl”

Continuing his series of nostalgic retrospectives, Neal Damiano follows The Breakfast Club & Pretty In Pink with a look back at seminal 1980s cult classic Valley Girl…

Valley Girl - Top 10 FilmsSincere, yet compelling, Valley Girl is the kind of romantic teen comedy that they just don’t make anymore. Nicolas Cage lands his first starring role as Randy, a punk rocker from Hollywood, to whom a valley girl named Julie, played by Deborah Foreman falls head over heels for. Valley Girl offered a genuine portrait of what was happening at the time in 1983. No other film represented the New Wave scene quite like Martha Coolidge’s film, from the fashion, music, and the way of speaking, it completely defined the era. But more importantly it told an interesting story of love and rebellion.

A mix of comedy and drama balanced together well, the film featured some very funny moments underlying a serious heart felt emotion of first love and heartbreak. What set the movie apart is the fact most films in the teen genre (outside of the John Hughes circle) had a manufactured idea of teenagers. Valley Girl wasn’t afraid to strip down to its bare emotions and show genuine heartache. Randy does lose the girl to peer pressure but ultimately gets her back in the end. The soundtrack is almost a character in itself and the songs fit absolutely perfectly with each scene.

Valley Girl, Nicolas Cage, Top 10 Films,

Teen films were a dime-a-dozen in the 1980s with a central theme of parties and gratuitous sex. What makes Valley Girl special is the message it conveys, that of individuality, thinking for yourself, and doing what makes you happy. The ending scene when they are driving off in the limo particularly resonates with me: I still wonder what became of Randy and Julie.

Words by Neal Damiano

See more from Neal Damiano: Top 10 Must See 1980s High School Comedy Movies & Top 10 Quintessential 1980s Films

About the Author
Neal Damiano calls himself “an unhip film geek” who mixes his passion for movies with an enthusiasm for travel, music and journalism.

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  1. Des Reply

    Love Cage in this.

  2. rover Reply

    This is my favorite 80s movie.

  3. Brett Reply

    I love this MOVIE!!! Nic Cage is perfect.

  4. Ms Frau Reply

    I remember seeing this film when it first came out. It still delights me now.

  5. ArchE Reply

    The film deserves an award simply for Cage’s hair.

  6. Neal Damiano Reply

    ArchE,
    His hair was awesome!

  7. CineGirl Reply

    Great celebration of this iconic 80s film, Neal! 🙂

    I haven’t seen it in years but I’ll have to see about buying the DVD or renting it.

    • Neal Damiano Reply

      CineGirl,
      There is two copies on DVD. Get the special edition one, if you can find it. This edition has the documentary “Totally Tubular 25 years of Valley Girl” And it has Martha Coolidge interviewing Nic Cage and music video for Johnny Are You Queer.

      Thanks for the read & feedback as usual!

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