It's a tale that's, like, totally timeless.
She's a bubbly mall rat with hair teased sky-high. He's a charming punk from the wrong side of the Hollywood Hills, and her friends think he's grody to the max. EW has an exclusive first look at the upcoming Valley Girl remake (out on digital May 8), which pays loving tribute to the 1983 Martha Coolidge classic. Jessica Rothe (Happy Death Day) and Josh Whitehouse (The Knight Before Christmas) star as Julie and Randy, the star-crossed Angelenos first played by Deborah Foreman and Nicolas Cage.
The original was a surprisingly tender Romeo-and-Juliet retelling that's since become a hard-to-find cult classic. (Although just a few days ago, MGM announced that it's finally available on digital for the first time ever.) The remake keeps the spirit of the 1983 film while introducing a few tripendicular changes: The new Valley Girl is a jukebox musical, with elaborate sequences set to '80s hits like the Go-Go's "We Got the Beat," Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," and a-ha's "Take On Me." It also reimagines some of the songs that made up the original's killer New Wave soundtrack, including the Plimsouls' "A Million Miles Away" and Modern English's "I Melt With You."
"The original was a little rougher around the edges, in an authentic way," Whitehouse says. "Ours definitely has a lot more sparkle to it."
The 2020 version is set in the present day with flashbacks to the '80s, as an all-grown-up Julie (Alicia Silverstone) tells her daughter (Camila Morrone) about her teen adventures in the Valley, and what it meant to sneak over the hill to explore the then-scuzzy Hollywood Boulevard with Randy. "I love playing with genres," says director Rachel Lee Goldenberg. "The juxtaposition of the bright, poppy Valley world and the dirty, grimy punk world was an exciting visual idea for me."
Julie's friends, for example, are preppy pastel mall rats played by Chloe Bennet, Ashleigh Murray, and Jessie Ennis, with YouTuber Logan Paul as her bleach-blond airhead boyfriend. Meanwhile, Randy's closest confidante is his brash, black-eyelinered bandmate played by Mae Whitman.
As for that distinctive Valley accent? There was a dialect coach on set to help the actors perfect their upspeak and nail every "gag me with a spoon."
"We're at a time when people are really loving the nostalgia of the '80s, and it was so fun to get to play in that world with the hair and the clothes and the makeup and the affect," Rothe says. "It was just a neon candy delight."