"Valley Girl (2020)" Movie Review

Updated on May 11, 2020
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

Valley Girl
Valley Girl | Source

37 years after Nicolas Cage grabbed Deborah Foreman’s hand and, like, ran out of the Valley High gym to the sounds of Josie Cotton’s “He Could Be The One”, MGM takes us back to the world of Randy and Julie with a spit-polished, musical remake of the cult favorite Valley Girl. As crisp and clean as any of Disney’s High School Musical entries (with expertly choreographed dance numbers to match), director Rachel Lee Goldenberg’s 2020 update is a totally bubbly, super-bright tribute to the original film, but that’s where the gnarly-ness ends. Too cutesy for nostalgic adults and too esoteric for today’s target tween audience, this Valley Girl proves (yet again) that sometimes it’s best to just leave things alone.

Happy Death Day’s Jessica Rothe stars as Julie Richman, the Valley girl with the wandering eye for life on the other side of the Hollywood Hills. Meanwhile, her grody boyfriend Mickey (the deplorable Logan Paul, whose involvement delayed the film’s release for two years) is the consummate douche—so much so that he makes The Wedding Singer’s Glenn Gulia seem like a halfway-decent fella. When Julie bumps into Hollywood punk Randy (Josh Whitehouse) at the beach one day (to the tune of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”), sparks fly, and the swoony teen love story blossoms.

From there on out, there’s not much that you haven’t seen a hundred times before: Julie’s parents just don’t understand, Randy’s friends just don’t understand, and, you guessed it, Julie’s friends just don’t understand, either. Sure, these oil-’n-water kids are facing tough odds, but with the power of love (and 80s music) on their sides, anything is possible, right?

While Martha Coolidge’s 1983 original followed the same plot, it succeeded (where this one doesn’t), because it wasn’t cheese-ified by goofy musical numbers and also managed to maintain at least a little bit of an edge. It was believable that Cage's Randy actually had a bit of punk in him, and the low-budget rawness of the film only added to that authenticity. Here, Whitehouse is costumed in expertly de-sleeved flannel shirts and way-too-shiny combat boots as he sings a pop-punk version of Madonna’s “Crazy for You”. As if.

Rothe, looking like she just dropped out of a 1987 Noxema ad, has more than enough energy and charisma to carry the film, and Goldenberg (who directed the brilliant 2015 Lifetime satire A Deadly Adoption) certainly throws her all into it, too, but still can’t keep the film from feeling like a super-sanitized and superficial bubble gum-pop sugar rush.

Where fans of the original will find enjoyment is in a trio of quick cameos featuring the 1983 film’s stars (Deborah Foreman shows up as a prom dress salesperson, E.G. Daily plays Mickey’s mom, and Heidi Holicker frumps out as a teacher at the prom finale; Cage declined to appear), and, yes, the music—even coming from the mouths of Millennial babies—is still the best music ever. Even though 80s nostalgia was done far better in 2011’s Take Me Home Tonight, it’s never a totally bad time when popped collars, scrunchies, and Hot Dog on a Stick are involved. Valley Girl won’t exactly make you want to gag yourself with a spoon, but it’s certainly not the bitchin’ ride it could’ve been (and was already). Fer sure.


3/5 stars

'Valley Girl (2020)' tralier


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)