Valley Girl: Special Edition (review)

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It’s a measure of how, like, totally influential this little film was 20 years ago that there seems to be nothing special about it today. A punk from Hollywood and a girl from the Valley hook up? It’s like soooo who cares? But director Martha Coolidge’s transference of Romeo and Juliet to Southern California introduced the world to Valley Speak — the totallys, the tubulars, the ohmigods — and did such a good job of it that this early 80s regional slang got so thoroughly absorbed into everyday language that we barely hear it anymore. Nostalgia buffs will get a kick out of the New Wave-heavy soundtrack and a charming early performance by Nicolas Cage (as the punk), and fans of romantic comedies will appreciate the shot of reality that’s often missing from teen love stories: the inconstant friends, the sneaky games young lovers play. The 1983 film has been spruced up with crisp video (both widescreen and pan-and-scan versions) and a newly remastered Dolby 5.1 soundtrack, and the many totally tubular extras include never-before-seen interviews with the cast and Coolidge, an audio commentary track with the director, and a track featuring pop-up 80s-trivia tidbits.

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