Valley Girl (1983)


Valley Girl is a 1983 romantic comedy film, starring Nicolas Cage, Deborah Foreman, Michelle Meyrink, Elizabeth Daily, Cameron Dye, and Joyce Heiser. The film was the directorial debut of Martha Coolidge, and was the first film in which Nicolas Coppola was billed as Nicolas Cage. The American release of Valley Girl was April 29, 1983. The plot is loosely based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.


Julie Richman (Deborah Foreman) is a Valley Girl who seems to have it all: good looks, popularity, and a handsome Valley dude boyfriend, Tommy (Michael Bowen). However, she has grown tired of Tommy's lack of respect and arrogance towards her. At the end of a shopping trip with her friends, Loryn (Elizabeth Daily), Stacey (Heidi Holicker), and Suzi (Michelle Meyrink), Julie runs into Tommy and breaks up with him, returning his I.D. bracelet. Later that day at the beach, Julie spies a handsome young man, and the two trade shy glances at each other. That night, at the party at Suzi's house, Julie locks eyes with Randy (Nicolas Cage), a Hollywood punk who has crashed the party with his friend, Fred (Cameron Dye). They hit it off well, especially after Julie learns that Randy was the young man she had seen at the beach earlier, but a jealous Tommy, who had tried to bed Loryn earlier, and his cronies expel Randy and Fred. Randy eventually returns to Suzi's house, sneaks inside, and hides, waiting for Julie to cross his path. When she does, he convinces her to leave the party with him. Julie brings a very reluctant Stacey along for the ride with Randy and Fred into Hollywood. While at Randy's favorite nightclub, Julie and Randy find their attraction to each other growing and share a kiss, as Stacey continually rebuffs Fred's advances. Julie's blossoming romance with Randy disgusts her friends, simply because Randy is not from the Valley. They threaten Julie with the loss of her popularity and their friendship if she continues to date Randy. Julie goes to her father (Frederic Forrest), an aging 1960s era hippie, for advice. Mr. Richman kindly tells her that she should follow her heart, reminding her that it is what is inside a person that counts. Despite her father's sage advice, Julie caves to peer pressure and reconciles, albeit awkwardly, with Tommy, who puts his I.D. bracelet back on her wrist. That evening, Julie tearfully dumps Randy when he goes to visit her. Randy, realizing that Julie has given in to her friends' wishes, curses at her and leaves. A heartbroken and drunk Randy later arrives at the nightclub, and ends up in the arms of his ex-girlfriend, Samantha (Tina Theberge). After a heated make-out session with Samantha, Randy feels even more miserable than before. He nearly gets into a fight with a gang of low riders before Fred saves him. Fred chides Randy for moping over Julie, but tells him that he needs to fight if he truly wants her back. Over the next few days, Randy flits about the Valley, trying to be where his path would cross Julie's. She seems covertly glad to see him, but is quite shaken when she catches him sleeping on the front lawn outside her window. Fred devises a plan that he dubs "simplicity at its finest," one that will both reunite Randy with Julie and achieve the "grandest form of retribution" against Tommy. As the girls make prom decorations, Stacey and Loryn chat over their post-prom plans. Stacey tells Loryn that Tommy had made a reservation at the Valley Sheraton Hotel, unbeknownst to Julie. The night of the Valley High junior prom, Tommy and Julie ride to the prom in a rented stretch limousine. Randy and Fred arrive shortly after and sneak backstage, watching the Valley High kids dancing to the music of Josie Cotton and the Party Crashers. Randy soon grows tired of just watching and demands to know if there is any more to Fred's plan, to which Fred says that there is nothing more, though the two vow to "crush that fly!" Julie and Tommy are now backstage, waiting to be introduced as king and queen of the prom. Randy confronts Tommy, and the two begin to brawl. When the prom king and queen are announced, the curtain pulls back to reveal Randy beating up Tommy. Randy knocks Tommy out, then escorts a thrilled Julie from the stage through the crowd. Tommy recovers and storms through the crowd towards Randy and Julie, who find themselves blocked in by the snack table. Tommy demands an explanation from Julie. She answers by smashing a platter of guacamole in his face. A food fight starts, from which Randy and Julie escape and take off in Tommy's rented limousine. As the happy couple ride into the night to the Valley Sheraton, Julie removes Tommy's I.D. bracelet and throws it out the window. The scene, which echoes the final scene of the film The Graduate, pans to the overview of the Valley, while the limo turns past the Sherman Oaks Galleria glowing in the night as the Modern English song "I Melt With You" closes out the film. A subplot involves Suzi and her stepmother, Beth (Lee Purcell), vying for the attention of Skip (David Ensor), the grocery delivery boy. At her party, Suzi tells Beth, who is chaperoning, about a boy that she likes and hopes likes her too. Beth soon notices a dark-haired boy to whom she finds herself attracted. The boy turns out to be Skip, the very boy that Suzi likes. Skip finds himself attracted to Beth and goes out of his way to go to see her without Suzi finding out; he even turns down an invite from Suzi to go to her house during an unsupervised slumber party because Beth is out on a date. One day, Skip enters Suzi's house, apparently looking for Beth. He goes upstairs and hears a shower running in Beth's bedroom. He finds that a woman is in the shower. Skip and this woman, whose face is not shown, are then shown making love. During this time, we see another woman coming home and going upstairs. The bedroom door opens, Beth enters, and only then it is shown that Suzi had been the woman in the shower and is now in bed with Skip. By the end of the film, Skip and Suzi go to the prom together.