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Valley Girl is a 1983 romantic comedy movie, starring Nicolas Cage, Deborah Foreman, E.G. Daily, Cameron Dye and Joyce Hyser. The movie 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. Valley Girl, along with its popular 1982 predecessor Fast Times At Ridgemont High, was an influential and early example of what came to be known in the 1980's as the "coming of age" films that became popular later in the decade. It remains a cult favorite as well, and the music soundtrack, which was not only released on CD but produced a sequel CD a year later, was remarkably popular throughout the 1980's. The soundtrack features a host of new wave recording artists including Josie Cotton, several songs by the Plimsouls that became chart hits, Modern English's I Melt With You, the Payolas, Pat Travers, Gary Myrick and the Figures and two of Bonnie Hayes and the Wild Combo's biggest hits, Girls Like Me and Shelly's Boyfriend. The influence of the CD on future film CD compilations was considerable in establishing music as an important, and separately marketable, aspect of "teen" films.

Plot summary

Julie Richman is a Valley Girl who seems to have it all: good looks, popularity, and a handsome Valley dude boyfriend, Tommy. However, she has grown tired of Tommy's lack of respect and arrogance towards her. While at the beach, she sees a hunk (Randy) but does not talk to him. At the end of a shopping trip with her friends (Loryn, Stacey, Suzi), Julie runs into Tommy and breaks up with him, returning his I.D. bracelet.

That night, at a party at Suzi's house, Julie locks eyes with Randy, a Hollywoodmarker punk who has crashed the party with his friend Fred. They hit it off well, especially after she learns it was him at the beach, but a jealous Tommy (who had tried to bed Loryn earlier that night) 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, 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 Mr. Richman'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 curses at her with what would become a classic 1980s movie line "Fuck off, for sure, like totally" and leaves. He gets drunk, arrives at the nightclub, and ends up in the arms of his ex-girlfriend, Samantha. 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 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 reservations 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 her band. 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 evening scene 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, vying for the attention of Skip, the grocery delivery boy. At her party, Suzi is telling 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 movie, Skip and Suzi go to the prom together.


* Nicolas Cage .... Randy
* Deborah Foreman .... Julie Richman
* E.G. Daily .... Loryn (as Elizabeth Daily)
* Michael Bowen .... Tommy
* Cameron Dye .... Fred Bailey
* Heidi Holicker .... Stacey
* Michelle Meyrink .... Suzi Brent
* Tina Theberge .... Samantha
* Lee Purcell .... Beth Brent
* Richard Sanders ... Driver's Ed Teacher
* Colleen Camp .... Sarah Richman
* Frederic Forrest .... Steve Richman
* David Ensor .... Skip
* Tony Plana .... Low Rider
* Joyce Hyser .... Joyce (as Joyce Heiser)
* The Plimsouls .... Themselves
* Peter Case .... Himself
* Bill Harris .... Guy at Prom
* Joanne Baron .... Miss Lieberman, Prom Teacher


Valley Girl was a financial success. The film was released on April 29, 1983 and opened at #4 in 442 theaters. In the opening weekend, it grossed $1,856,780 (10.7%). The final domestic grossing stood at $17,343,596 more than 2000% of its budget.


The soundtrack features a host of new wave recording artists including the Plimsouls and Josie Cotton, both of whom appeared in the film. Songs by Bonnie Hayes, Modern English and the Payolas were also featured prominently.

Many of the songs were minor chart hits in 1982–1983. Josie Cotton's "Johnny, Are You Queer?" was a regional hit in Southern California in 1981, reaching #5 on KROQ's Top 106 of the year and "He Could Be the One" from her album Convertible Music had reached #74 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982. The song heard over the opening credits is "Girls Like Me" from Bonnie Hayes' 1982 album Good Clean Fun, which "bubbled under" the Billboard 200 album chart at #206. The Plimsouls' "A Million Miles Away" and the Payolas' "Eyes of a Stranger" were moderate hits in 1982, reaching #11 and #22, respectively, on Billboard's Top Tracks chart. "I Melt with You" by Modern English reached #78 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983.

The end credits show songs by The Clash, Culture Club, Bananarama and The Jam, however, those songs aren't heard in the film. After the film was completed, problems arose in acquiring the music rights and substitute songs had to be dubbed in. Altogether, the music rights cost $250,000 on top of the film's original $350,000 budget.

The planned release of a soundtrack album on Epic Records was cancelled due to the clearance problems with some of the songs. Instead, a different six-song mini-album was manufactured by Roadshow Records, a one-off subsidiary of Atlantic Releasing Corp. The album was never commercially released, but a few copies leaked out and became highly valued collector's items. More common is a counterfeit copy which is distinguished by the misspelling of the title as "Valley Girls" on the spine of the album cover.

In 1994, Rhino Records released a compilation of songs from the film's soundtrack on compact disc which peaked at #155 on the Billboard 200. This was followed by a second volume titled More Music from the Valley Girl Soundtrack in 1995.


Valley Girl is available on DVD. The Special Edition DVD contains many extras, notably interviews with many of the cast and crew, including Nicolas Cage, Michael Bowen, Heidi Holicker, Peter Case, and E.G. Daily. In the DVD documentary, E.G. Daily admits that she had no idea what Valley Girls were supposed to sound like and decided that Loryn would be from Malibumarker (and therefore not a true Valley Girl) in order to cover this up.


In 2009, it was announced that MGM were working on a remake of the film. Jason Moore will direct the feature, which will be a musical.

See also


  1. American Film September 1984: 6
  2. Osborne, Jerry. "Valley Girl Music Battle Was Awesome" Chicago Sun-Times December 2, 1990
  3. Barker, Lisa. "Valley Girl: A Totally Bitchin' Soundtrack That's Worth Like A Lot" Goldmine November 27, 1992: 66

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