Welcome to the world of Julie (Deborah Foreman) and Randy (Nicolas Cage). Randy is apunk, and Julie is the eponymous Valley Girl, she of the instantly recognizable slang (“totally,”“grody,” “gag me,” etc.). Theirs is a light-hearted Romeo and Juliet story, as they fall in lovedespite the disapproval of peers. Don’t be expecting the outrageousness and excess of somethinglike American Pie. Rather, this is a sharply observed comedy, driven more by characterthan by slaps…ick. Director Martha Coolidge went on to do Clueless (which wound upholding a similar position in pop culture a teen generation later), and this is much in the samevein.
Unspectacular sound, though budget and age must be allowed for (especially the former).The sound comes in both 5.1 and mono, but there isn’t that big a difference between the two. Thestereo is rather thin, and the sound effects are definitely low key. The dialogue is prone to somedistortion, primarily in the form of occasional buzz. The music is fine (another parade of 80’sstandards), but it too is a bit thin.
Both fullscreen and 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen formats are available. The picture isdecent, but though there is little by way of grain or damage, the film does rather show its age. Itsimply isn’t as sharp as more recent and/or expensive productions would be. The blacks, colours,and flesh tones are good. There is some edge enhancement visible, but it isn’t particularlynoticeable.
You have what amounts to three different kinds of commentary tracks. The audiocommentary is provided by Martha Coolidge, and she is a pleasure to listen to — smart, articulate,and down-to-earth, her memories of the shoot are extensive. The video commentary involves asmall frame appearing at various intervals, with various cast members (Nicolas Cage amongthem) recounting their memories. The 80’s Nostalgia and Trivia Track is akin to Pop-Up Video –boxes appearing with various factoids about the period or the film. You can have the last twotracks running concurrently. There are three featurettes, including a twenty-year retrospectivewith interviews with Coolidge and Cage. Finally, there are storyboard-to-film comparisons,videos by Modern English and The Plimsouls, and the theatrical trailer. The menu’s main page,intro and transitions are fully animated and scored.
A significant entry to the teen comedy genre, one that wound up setting something of astandard, and given a suitably impressive set of extras. A very solid package.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Video Commentary
- Nostalgia and Trivia Track
- 3 Featurettes
- Music Videos
- Storyboard-to-Film Comparisons
- Theatrical Trailer