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“Valley Girl” Is an Inventive Remake Of The Teen Movie Classic

Remember Valley Girl? Back in the 80s, the romantic comedy helped usher in a new era for films. Eventually turning into a cult classic, the movie now has spawned a remake. Luckily, as misguided as that idea may have initially sounded, this take on the material, imagining it as a jukebox musical of sorts, has a surprisingly large amount of life to it. It’s cheesy and unrepentantly old fashioned, but it has a ton of charm, as well. Hitting Digital today, this is a fun little flick, one that you’ll likely smile at throughout its entire running time. Whether you’re a fan of the original or not, this is just a good time.

The movie is a remake of the 1983 title of the same name, though this version of the plot is told a bit differently. Here, an older Julie (Alicia Silverstone) is telling the story of her teenage romance to her own teen, a daughter (Camila Morrone) going through some similar issues. Julie imagines her younger days as a musical, set to the sounds of the 80s. There, Julie Richman (Jessica Rothe) is a true valley girl, never setting foot in any other Los Angeles neighborhood. Her stuck up friends and jock boyfriend Mickey (Logan Paul) are just part of the life being crafted for her, one her parents (Judy Greer and Rob Huebel) are only too happy to encourage. Then, she meets Randy (Josh Whitehouse), a punk rocker from Hollywood. His life on the Sunset Strip is a far cry from hers at the Galleria, but a spark is immediate. As they embark on a tentative romance, friends and family attempt to pull them apart. It’s all very Romeo and Juliet, but with a fun quirk to it. Rachel Lee Goldenberg directs a screenplay by Amy Talkington (Wayne Crawford and Andrew Lane get Story By credits), with music by Roger Neill, as well as cinematography from Adam Silver. Supporting players include Chloe Bennet, Jessie Ennis, Peyton List, Ashleigh Murray, Mae Whitman, and more.

Was a remake of this teen classic necessary? Not in the slightest. Is this new version still a lot of fun and really enjoyable, regardless? Absolutely. Jessica Rothe and Josh Whitehouse won’t make anyone forget Deborah Foreman and Nicolas Cage (Cage especially), but they work for what’s needed here. Plus, Alicia Silverstone is actually pretty great as who Julie would grow up to be, while any time Judy Greer can make an appearance in something, we all benefit. The songs are lively, the dancing is cute, and you believe in the romance. What more can you ask for out of a rom com?

Valley Girl is just plain fun. The film plays like a less brash version of Rock of Ages, in some ways, so make of that what you will. There’s only one real shortcoming here, and it’s Logan Paul’s villainous supporting turn. While he’s as unlikeable as Mickey needs to be, Paul is an atrocious actor, so the less he’s on the screen, the better. Aside from that, everyone here is solid. Nothing will blow you away, but it all lands like Rachel Lee Goldenberg and Amy Talkington intend it to.

Today, audiences hungering for some romance are in for a good time, now that Valley Girl is out. It may not be the original, but it’s something different, and that’s important for any remake. Aside from Logan Paul, almost everything here lands as intended. Give it a look and you’ll be thoroughly charmed. Just don’t expect the Valley Girl you grew up on…

Be sure to check out Valley Girl, available to watch right now!

(Photos courtesy of Orion and United Artists)

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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