It’s no secret that I love the films Valley Girl and Modern Girls. On the 40th anniversary of the former, The New Bev celebrated the genre of female-led 80’s films set in Los Angeles with a lively double feature.
I felt very lucky to get a seat at the sold-out screening. Valley Girl was as much fun as ever. I have never seen it on the big screen, and it was extra fun. The vertigo of Julie’s driving test, the backstage karate action at prom, the heat of a young Nicholas Cage at his dreamiest- all delightfully larger than life. The eternal tale of first love, of star-crossed lovers, stays as current as the clothes and haircuts don’t.
After the first feature, we got a brief Q&A by the legendary director, Martha Coolidge, and most of the cast. Deborah Foreman was there, Josie Cotton was there, the bassist from the Plimsouls, and all of Julie’s stuck-up friends. They all talked about how completely shoestring and indie the movie was. They all wore each others’ clothes, they loved the music of the time, and they made an unexpected hit that changed all of their lives.
I enjoyed the Sparks on the soundtrack, and although the Plimsouls appear to constantly be playing the Central, Chuck E. Weiss is listed on the calendar as upcoming.
It’s also one of Quentin Tarantino’s favorite romantic comedies, which would make perfect sense.
Then, it was time for Modern GIrls. Sadly, the theater dumped out before the screening of one of my favorite not-very-good films. However, I still enjoyed watching it with the thirty nerds that remained. The co-author, Anita Rosenberg, and Virginia Madsen were appearing tonight, but you can’t be everywhere.
Modern Girls takes place three years after Valley Girl, and the girls involved might be the older sisters of Julie’s. They’re not visiting Hollywood, they live there. And they wouldn’t be caught DEAD in the Valley.
Some trainspotting between the two films- they both have Toni Basil songs on the soundtracks. The hit, Oh, Mickey, is in Valley Girl. Girl’s Night Out plays over the getting dressed montage in Modern Girls. They both feature strips of 80’s Sunset and Melrose, and, oddly- they both reference the “plastics” joke from The Graduate. Only Modern Girls has a Hamlet, reference, though. Super silly and lots of fun, beginning to end.