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Clay Weiner, a successful director of TV commercials who also directed Nickelodeon’s Fred: The Movie, has been chosen by Paramount and MGM to helm their planned musical remake of the 1983 movie Valley Girl, a largely forgettable dramedy that helped launch Nicolas Cage’s career. Deadline, which breaks the story, says Weiner won the job over “a number of well-established helmers who wanted the job.”
Weiner apparently won studio execs over with a three-minute reel he paid for out of his own pocket that showed how he planned to choreograph new dance routines to classic ‘80s songs from the film (and the era). The site says the remake will follow the plot of the original – with a punk rocker from the city trying to win the heart of a shallow girl from the Valley – and will showcase mash-up tunes from bands like The Go-Gos and The Cars.
Which brings me to my issue with this. Some movies are so closely associated with the decade in which they were released that remaking them doesn’t make much sense. Easy Rider (for the 1960s) and Saturday Night Fever (for the 1970s) come to mind as films of their decades, and translating them to the year 2012 and beyond seems like more trouble than it’s worth.
That doesn’t mean I’m trying to compare Valley Girl to those films. I’m not. It’s not nearly as iconic as either. I’m more concerned with a production that tries to bring back “totally,” “grody to the max,” and other Valley slangs that became outdated the moment we graduated into the ‘90s.
But studios have been overly interested in the ‘80s, as of late. Tom Cruise and Alec Baldwin flash back to that decade for Adam Shankman’s Rock of Ages. MGM’s trying to mount RoboCop and Red Dawn remakes. And Valley Girl appears to be the next step. Rachel Getting Married scribe Jenny Lumet is taking a pass over Amy Talkington’s original treatment, and Weiner can now begin casting. Do you think it’s a good idea? Are you ready for a trip back to the vapid ways of the Valley? Let us know.