Okay, okay, like, I totally am like, totally blissed out to the super max that like, the Army Core of Engineers said like, hell no, you can’t like, have a permit to put that pipeline here, we won’t like, okay that easement, like I’m like, so sure, like no way, get bent, not gonna happen. So like, score one for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and like, the totally righteous protestors who said, “Hey, man, like CLEAN WATER is like beaucoup important, for like, everyone!”
Here’s a link to the latest on the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the protests at Standing Rock. As of right now, it looks like they are going to re-route it! So, yes! That’s just wonderful, an occurrence that gives one hope that perhaps there is hope for humanity to pull its head out of its proverbial posterior and stop doing things so utterly lacking in common sense, at least on such a grand scale. So that’s bitchin! Like, SUPER BITCHIN, in a big way. I wanted to go ahead and say something about that because, YAY!
It is my personal belief that “Valley Girl” is, in so many ways, the quintessential 80’s teen film, not that there aren’t quite a few gems in that milieu, of that ilk. What I think makes “Valley Girl” different is that it captures the disconnect that was being a teenager in the 80’s, in a way that I don’t think that any of the other films about that era quite manage, with the possible exception of 1984’s “Reckless” starring Aidan Quinn and Daryl Hannah. The problem with “Reckless,” however, it that it overplays the Aidan Quinn character as the dark, angsty, type, and overall, it’s lacking any of the florescence that was the 80’s. I was a teenager in the 80’s, and in the darkest dance, in the smallest town, in the center of the abyss, somewhere, there was at least one girl dressed like Madonna or Cyndi Lauper, at. least. one. And she’s noticeable and annoyingly cheerful, because how could you miss her? In short, “Reckless” is too gritty, too one sided, to really be capturing the full nuance of the 80’s era teenager. It is, nonetheless, a good film. “Valley Girl” nails it all, as far as I’m concerned.
The opening credits, the radio, as if it would always be just that way, with the future still wide open on a clear day you can see forever…
“Valley Girl” manages to convey the disconnect of teenagers playing at being adult, practicing at being adult. The parents are given a role in the film more along the lines of average, if not upper middle class, parents, they’re there, but not. Frederic Forrest and Colleen Camp as “Julie’s” stoner parents with their health food deli/store, are brilliant. Lee Purcell as “Suzi’s” mother “Beth,” trying to bag her daughter’s boyfriend, and chaperoning the kids party with her own boyfriend is a model of repressed, middle aged, tension. They provide the backdrop, like shadow figures of an arcane government being largely ignored by its people, with the exception of a crucial moment when Frederic Forrest as “Julie’s dad,” “Steve Richman,” provides the message of the movie.
Then of course there’s “Randy” and “Fred” who come from the completely different world of Hollyweird, we have the impression that they are without supervision except for one another, their friends and “scene” represent that grittier side of things, free-range teenagers. I might have known a few such teens. “Valley Girl” captures the nuances of friends exerting their influence on one another in a variety of ways. It presents the secret language of being a teenager, the shorthand, which renews itself with each generation, and part of that language and self expression of being a teenager, is the clothes, the hair, the music. It’s where you hang out, in “Valley Girl” that’s at a local restaurant, Dupar’s, which is really in Studio City, with plates of french fries, when they’re not at the mall. One of the things that I love about that movie is that they are in Dupar’s several times, and that’s what teenagers do, or used to, with friends, with one boyfriend, and then the other, and then back again, and then…They have haunts, they have places, they have hangouts, they have locales that become landmarks of memory.
However, this film carries with it a deeper theme not only about that big first love and being true to your heart, but about being true to yourself within that, despite the opinions of your peers, the people who matter the most to you when you’re a teenager. “Julie” describing how “Tommy” makes her feel like “an old chair” when he doesn’t call, is so heartbreaking because it’s funny, but it’s so not funny. The hierarchy and hypocrisy of teen social circles. We feel her angst. I think many overlook this film as the shallow 80’s romp through the mall when it is anything but. There’s something sacred about this film for me. It isn’t all like, moonbeams, like, unicorns, either, ya know? It’s got some grit to it. “Randy” going back to his ex for a night when “Julie” dumps him, his drinking too much and becoming unwell. That’s what we used to say, “You were unwell.Indisposed.” “Were you inebriated and did you become unwell?” I knew a lot of people who were good for the whipping out of a Monty Python reference and killing you with their vocabulary.Use your words. Like, if we talked like that, like, you know, valley girls, airheads, it tended to be because we were capping on someone or being like, you know, sarcastic, but like, fer sure. Nonetheless, we did talk like that. But that first time that I saw this movie, well, you don’t know what’s going to happen to “Randy,” or “Fred,” for that matter. It has enough of an edge to it that there’s no way to gauge which way it’s going, and that’s being a teenager, fer sure, like, totally.
Remember “Solid Gold” and “The Solid Gold Dancers?” This was big time controversial stuff. Skimpy outfits, sexy, prime-time, dancing.
“Hi, I’m Fred. I like tacos and ’71 Cabernet.”
Really, I don’t want to listen to a new generation saying “tripendicular.” I may never be ready to hear throngs of youth who weren’t even born when the movie was made, talking about how “rad” something is. There’s something sacrilegious about re-making this film, and most certainly about re-making it as a musical. I mean, wtf-ever. WHAT.EVER. It’s like trying to recapture the disco era, with newly platformed Stella’s, or re-do the birth of Grunge, like, remember before Starbucks? OMG… It’s too soon. Is it too soon? It’s too soon. I think that 80’s pop-culture was completely unique and we were lucky in a sense that there were so many different things to choose from. Here’s the Top 100 Songs from 1983, 1984, and 1985. The variety was astonishing and that isn’t what the “cool kids” were listening to, whether it was New Wave, Punk, Hair Bands, or Country, it was like the 80’s were exploding with all the goodness of possibilities. It could be that every generation feels this way about the cultural landscape of their youth, but when I heard that they were re-making “Valley Girl,” at all, I really heard every smart-ass friend I ever had collectively agree, The mutha-effin’ end is surely nigh!
I’m going to skip any viewing of the remake, in fact, I’m going to actively avoid it! What I see that is potentially good about it, is that perhaps it will introduce the message of the original film to a new generation.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Categories: A post by Teri Skultety, coffee houses and diners, Culture, Deluxe Burgers, films, Modern English, Moon Unit, Music, perspective, Romeo and Juliet, sarcasm, Shakespeare, Standing Rock, the 80's, The more expensive ones always fit better., The Plimsouls, the VALLEY, You dig what I'm sayin?