Directed by Martha Coolidge • 1983 • United States
Starring Nicolas Cage, Deborah Foreman, Elizabeth Daily
Before there was CLUELESS, there was VALLEY GIRL. Conceived as a teen exploitation cheapie meant to capitalize on the success of the single by Frank and Moon Unit Zappa that ignited a national obsession with all things “valley girl,” this SoCal “Romeo and Juliet” tale became, thanks to the sensitive direction of Martha Coolidge, so much more: a sincere, authentic portrayal of 1980s teenage life refreshingly devoid of clichés. In his breakout role, Nicolas Cage displays the offbeat, chaotic charm that would become his signature as a Hollywood rebel who finds unexpected romance with a mallrat (Deborah Foreman) from the San Fernando valley—but in the clique-conscious world of high school, can love between a punk and a valley girl survive? The bouncy New Wave soundtrack features choice cuts by Modern English, Men at Work, Sparks, Psychedelic Furs, and more.