SWEET VALLEY HIGH
Julie thinks Randy is a hunk with a bitchin’ bod and fresh attitude to match. But, like, oh, no! Her girlfriends say he’s “totally grody.” Will she continue to go steady with her popped-collar-polo-wearing beau or take a chance on this Hollywood rocker who has stolen her heart? Like many of its early ’80s counterparts, Martha Coolidge’s Valley Girl relies on conflict between true love and the age-old tyranny of high school social mores—that and wildly elevating the disparity between L.A.’s downtown and surrounding suburbs to a near West Bank-level divide. It marks Nicolas Cage’s first leading role, in which he plays a young, post-punky, well, stalker . . . pretty much a stalker. Still, his erratic energy comes off as more charming than creepy within the movie’s bubbly teenverse, even withstanding some borderline eerie cinematography by Frederick Elmes (whose credits also include the Lynchian classics Eraserhead and Blue Velvet). The soundtrack featuring Modern English, the Plimsouls, Psychodelic Furs, and the Clash is a cultural artifact on its own.
Sat., Sept. 1, 12:15 p.m., 2012
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