"Valley Girl" could have (like) been a (totally) lame teensploitation comedy (fer shure), created to capitalize on the novelty 1982 hit song by Frank Zappa and his 14-year-old daughter, Moon Unit. Instead, the film turned the song's satiric jabs at the slang and fashions of the San Fernando Valley set (soon popular among teenage girls nationwide) into a clever teen romantic comedy, one that celebrated the subculture's materialism and fads in style, speech, and music, all while gently poking fun at them. What's more, the movie (released 30 years ago this week, on April 29, 1983) launched several careers (notably, that of Nicolas Cage) and influenced many of the teen-girl comedies of manners that followed (including "Heathers," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Clueless," and "Mean Girls").

Of course, not everyone involved in the film saw their careers flourish as Cage's did. Here, then, is a roundup of the fortunes that befell the makers of "Valley Girl," from the trippendicular to the bogus.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this feature had the incorrect photo of Michael Bowen. It has been updated with the correct picture.
categories Movies