Valley Girl: A Charming 1980s Musical Throwback

Chloe Bennet, Jessica Rothe, Ashleigh Murray and Jessie Ennis star in VALLEY GIRL. Courtesy of MGM.

Valley Girl is a charming musical throwback to the heyday of the 1980s and comes fully complete with a jam-packed soundtrack of favorite hits.

Julie (Jessica Roth), Stacey (Jessie Ennis), Karen (Chloe Bennet), and Loryn (Ashleigh Murray) are finishing up their senior year of high school.  Julie is likely headed into the fashion industry. Even though she’s dating Mickey (Logan Paul), Julie’s life changes upon meeting Randy (Josh Whitehouse).  Unlike the Valley girl, Randy is a punk rocker.  If you’re like me, you’re going to be on Team Randy!  Anyway, the two of them couldn’t be from worlds that are further apart.  Julie’s friends aren’t too fond of her going out with Randy.  Similarly, the sentiment is shared by Randy’s bandmates, Jack (Mae Whitman) and Sticky (Mario Revolori).

The film is a musical remake of the original 1983 film starring Deborah Foreman and Nicholas Cage.  Think Grease and West Side Story in a sense that the two lovebirds come from very different worlds.  While the films are musicals, they represent different decades.  This is not a bad thing at all!  However, I was today years old when I realized how similar that musicals could be.

Amy Talkington’s script also changes things up.  Mae Whitman’s Jack is a lesbian to the film’s credit.  They play to the contemporary era without ruining the 80s spirit.  It’s honestly a good move.

Mandy Moore’s choreography really helps bring the film to life.  The choreography is truly amazing.  In a perfect universe, the film could earn warrant a nomination for Best Musical.  But there’s just one thing that drags the musical remake a bit down and I’m going to discuss that in just a moment.

The only reason why I’m not rating this film higher than I am is because of Logan Paul’s casting.  This guy has no business being in the movies especially with his history.  He’s not really acting here as it is.  If it’s any consolation, the guy’s character doesn’t really get a happy ending.  On the other hand, there isn’t enough of viral sensation Mary Neely.  If you’ve been following Twitter during the quarantine, you already know that Mary is a great singer.

If you love 80s music, Valley Girl is certainly going to be a good time.

DIRECTOR:  Rachel Lee Goldenberg
SCREENWRITER:  Amy Talkington
CAST: Jessica Rothe, Josh Whitehouse, Rob Huebel, Jessie Ennis, Ashleigh Murray, Chloe Bennet, Logan Paul, Peyton List, Mario Revolori, Alicia Silverstone and Camila Morrone, with Mae Whitman and Judy Greer

Orion Classics releases Valley Girl in Digital/VOD on May 8, 2020. Grade: 3.5/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.