15 Crazy Things That Will Surprise You About ‘Valley Girl’

11. Classic New Wave Soundtrack Could’ve Been Even Better

The movie also featured then-cutting edge “new wave” songs by artists like The Psychedelic Furs, Sparks and Payolas, as well as hits like Culture Club’s “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,” Men at Work’s “Who Can It Be Now?” and Eddy Grant’s  “Electric Avenue.”

Producers had a difficult time clearing some of the music for use, so songs by Bananarama, The Clash and The Jam were left out of the final theatrical cut. A planned soundtrack album was also scrapped over issues with song rights. Rhino Records finally released Valley Girl (Music from the Soundtrack) in 1994, followed by More Music from the Valley Girl Soundtrack in 1995.

Valley Girl Soundtrack
Rhino Records’ 1995 compilation ‘Valley Girl (More Music from the Soundtrack)’ (Source: Rhino Records)

12. The Plimsouls and Josie Cotton Got Big Career Boosts

The soundtrack featured multiple songs from Josie Cotton and The Plimsouls, both of whom appeared in the actual movie. The Plimsouls are seen performing at the club to which Randy takes Julie; the band’s “A Million Miles Away,” performed in the film, became their biggest hit and remains an ’80s favorite. Same with Cotton’s “Johnny, Are You Queer?” The song proved controversial for Cotton, who fronts the band that plays at the school dance, earning her backlash from those who thought the tune was homophobic, as well as those who thought it promoted homosexuality. Cotton continues to perform — she finally released her 1986 album Everything Is Oh Yeah in 2019 (it had been shelved when she lost her record deal).

Josie Cotton’s biggest hit and probably lowest budget music video of the 80s ? (Source: YouTube)

The Plimsouls split up a year after Valley Girl came out, but they’ve reunited occasionally in subsequent years. The band’s singer/songwriter Peter Case (who’d previously been in Power Pop greats The Nerves) has maintained a long-running solo career, releasing critically acclaimed albums in the Americana vein. As a solo artist, Case has been nominated for a Grammy three times.

13. “Johnny, Are You Queer?” Singer Rejected Cage’s Romantic Advances

Josie Cotton later said that Nicolas Cage asked her out during the filming, but she turned him down because she had a boyfriend. The two bonded over a mutual interest — mid-century furniture. She says Cage asked, “Want to go out and look at cool furniture or something?”

14. A Favorite of Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino

Screenwriter/director Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back) is a huge Valley Girl fan, as is his wife Jennifer Schwalbach Smith. In 2011, he hosted a screening of the film and moderated a Q&A with Coolidge, Foreman and cinematographer Frederick Elmes. Smith said that when his wife went into labor when they had their daughter Harley Quinn Smith they watched Valley Girl. “I see things in (Valley Girl) that I’ve stolen for my films and in my life,” Smith said at the event. “I’ve totally said lines to girls and hoped they’d never seen the movie.” Quentin Tarantino has also said he loved the film when it was first released. 

Scene from 1980's Valley Girl
Makes sense that the man behind ‘Mallrats’ would have a soft spot in his heart for ‘Valley Girl’ (Source: MGM)

15. 2020 Remake of ‘Valley Girl’ Features YouTube Star Logan Paul

An updated remake of Valley Girl has had a rocky road to release. The film takes a slightly different approach, presented as a kind of ’80s pop musical with song-and-dance numbers. It stars British actor Josh Whitehouse as Randy and Jessica Rothe (La La Land, Happy Death Day) as Julie; Alicia Silverstone appears in the film as “Older Julie.” The new Valley Girl was slated to come out in 2018, but was pushed back. Though never confirmed, some say MGM was spooked by controversy involving internet celebrity Logan Paul, who plays the role of lunkhead Tommy (though in the new version his name is Mickey). The film’s postponement came a few months after Paul suffered major backlash for filming a suicide victim in Japan and putting it on his YouTube channel. The Valley Girl remake was finally scheduled to premiere on streaming platforms in May 2020.

(Source: YouTube/Orion)

Written by Mike Breen

Mike Breen is a veteran writer and editor with nearly 30 years of experience. He was the longtime music editor and managing editor of Cincinnati altweekly CityBeat and his writing has also appeared in music publications like Spin, Creem and the U.K.’s NME. If you need a ringer for music trivia night, you should definitely call him.