Valley Girl (2020)

The new version of Valley Girl sat on the shelf for about two years, supposedly due to the bad publicity surrounding Logan Paul, but his role is so minor, I’m certain that’s not the issue. The sad fact is that this is not a good film. Whereas the beauty of the original film is that it could completely be a cash in on a hit song and it has a heart all its own, this movie depends on 80’s songs to give it any identity outside of a pale shadow of Pitch Perfect.

That said, I really like Jessica Rothe, as she made Happy Death Day worthwhile and she does her best here as Julie Richman, our lead (Alicia Silverstone shows up as the older version). Josh Whitehouse has the hardest job, trying to fill the shoes of Nicolas Cage, which isn’t easy or even possible.

At times, this wants to be a shot for shot remake. Then it wants to remove any of the controversies of the first movie, like Suzi and her stepmother fighting for the same guy. It wants you to remember the past, as E.G. Daily plays heel Mickey’s (Paul) mom and Deborah Foreman shows up in a cameo. But as happy as I am to see Judy Greer and Rob Huebel, they are wasted as Jessica’s parents, whose nuanced characters from the original have been jettisoned. There’s also a very Scott Pilgrim nature to Randy in this film, right down to the lesbian bandmate who is his wingman.

You know how you know it’s bad? Cage turned down a cameo. Yes, we’ve finally found the movie that the California Kinski will not be in.

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