Picks and Pans Review: Valley Girl

updated 05/23/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/23/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

How boring can a movie be when it's about a teenage girl whose biggest problem is deciding with whom to go to the junior prom? The answer: to the max boring. Like, gag everybody with a spoon before they can say "One ticket, please." Directed by Martha (Not a Pretty Picture) Coolidge, the film already seems dated, probably because the Valley Girl phenomenon, spawned by the peculiar middle-class non-culture of California's San Fernando Valley, has, thank goodness, already been beaten into the ground. Still, an amusing film could have been made from this passing fad, but this one isn't it. Deborah Foreman stars as the Valley Girl and Nicholas Cage as the boy from Hollywood who falls for her. Theirs is a huge philosophical confrontation, since she is into consumer chic while Cage wears old clothes, doesn't hang around shopping centers, and has a friend with magenta hair. Foreman has lots of smirky, smug chums; Cage knows some black people and swears. Her friends smirk awhile, he swears awhile, then they kiss and he takes her home. You could cut the dramatic tension with the thread from an angora sweater. Meanwhile, most of the actors portraying parents—Colleen (They All Laughed) Camp as Foreman's mother, for instance—seem as young as the kids. They also seem universally stupid, especially Frederic (The Rose) Forrest, who plays Foreman's ex-flower-child dad as if he is improvising his lines while mentally figuring out his income tax. The sound track includes some good rock 'n' roll; the high point of the movie is Josie Cotton doing her tune Johnny, Are You Queer?, which tells you how bad things are. The only positive thing about Valley Girl is its reminder not to wax too nostalgic over childhood. Being 16 can get mighty tedious too. (R)

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