The carcass of the 1980s has not yet been picked clean, so MGM is going forward with its musical adaptation of Martha Coolidge’s well-remembered 1983 cult film Valley Girl. And now, the project even has a director: Rachel Goldenberg, probably best known for helming the 2015 Lifetime movie A Deadly Adoption with Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig. (Goldenberg has also directed episodes of The Mindy Project and Angie Tribeca.) Matt Smith will produce this newfangled Valley Girl, and Goldenberg will direct from a script by Amy Talkington, who also appears to be working on a Private Benjamin reboot.
In the original independent sleeper hit, Nicolas Cage plays a Hollywood punk rocker named Randy who falls in love with Julie (Deborah Foreman), a resident of the San Fernando Valley, famed at the time for its unique slang and fashion. Considering that Valley Girl was made to cash in on an ephemeral cultural fad, it surprised many critics by not being a cheap, exploitative piece of garbage. Roger Ebert awarded it three stars and praised its honesty. “It may be the last thing you’d expect from a movie named Valley Girl,” he wrote, “but the kids in this movie are human.”
Now, more than three decades later, here comes the slick musical remake—from MGM, no less, the studio still most associated with lavish, tune-laden productions like The Wizard Of Oz and Singin’ In The Rain. The studio apparently acquired the rights to Valley Girl circa 2001, and now they want to put the film back to work. How the MGM-ification of Valley Girl will affect the source material is unclear. It should be noted that nearly half the budget of the original went to acquiring songs from the likes of The Plimsouls, The Psychedelic Furs, Men At Work, and (most famously) Modern English.
Top that, Hollywood.