Like, Gag Me With A Remake

February 18, 2012

Film, Humor

Dear Hollywood,

Look, I know we’ve had our differences over the years.  I know I make fun of you, and mock you sometimes for selling to the lowest denominator and even trying to lower the denominator.  But I like to think our differences have been professional, respectful.  I recognize that you have billions of dollars to make, and if that means churning out Transformers sequels and derivatives of Transformers, then that is what you are going to do.  I also, though, give fair credit that you’ve done some amazing things – yes, I’m referring to the current time period, not just The Godfather, and The Big Sleep, and so forth.

But this time, as you are so fond of saying, it’s personal.

You think you're going to improve on this??

Now I hear that you are remaking 1983’s Valley Girl, starring Deborah Foreman and Nicolas Cage. Not only are you remaking it, but it is going to be made by Clay Weiner.  Weiner may be a wonderful person.  He may be a visionary. He may be the next Kubrick.  But all I know is that his only feature directing credit is Fred: The Movie, a feature film based on a YouTube series about a kid who shrieks in a high voice.  This is secondary, though. The real issue is that you our trouncing a cult classic, that is a cult classic for a reason.

Valley Girl has its flaws, obviously.  Yes, the punks listen to music that isn’t even kind of punk.  It’s punk rock as envisioned by Dan Fogerty.  Sure, the scene where Elizabeth Daily takes her top of is so blatantly show-horned in you can practically see the studio execs standing just off screen saying. “Get some boobs in there!”  Granted, the scene where Cage drives Foreman through his neighborhood is really, blatantly, just footage shot separately then tacked on between reaction shots by the characters.

How totally awesome? That totally awesome.

But, Hollywood, Valley Girl is wonderful.  For a teen movie it captures that period so perfectly. It’s sweet, it’s funny, it’s cool. It’s, I suppose one could say, like, totally awesome.

Fer sure.

It’s not wonderful despite these flaws, in fact.  In many ways, it’s wonderful because of them.  The Romeo & Juliet plot is handled well, the remainder of the music is terrific, and it features the exchange, “Oh, cool, is this movie in 3D?” “No, but your face is.”  I don’t even know what that means, but I love it.

80's Fashions, as opposed to fakey "Ha Ha! Look at the 80's Fashions!"

But, most importantly, it’s a creation of its moment.  It succeeds because it’s a product of 1983, not a derivative version of 1983 designed to jam in a bunch of “best of the 80’s” references.  Its sincerity is why it transcends its simplicity.

You don’t remake that.  You leave it alone.  If not because it’s somehow sacred, then because this is a bad idea.  The remake will not make a bunch of money.  It just won’t.  All you’ll do is maul people’s memories.  My memories. My love for Deborah Foreman, which is pure and everlasting.  My allegiance to Nicolas Cage, which based on his performance here and in Raising Arizona, has led to me to stand by him through his “Muscle-Blockbuster” stages, and his “crazy” stages, and his “I’m in serious financial trouble and need all the work I can get” stage.

Re-release the original and advertize that.  You’ll make money quicker, and with less outflow!  How about that?  That’s a sound plan!

I don’t want to have to cut off our relationship, Hollywood.  We’ve had some great times together.  I thank you in advance for doing the right thing.

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Blog in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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48 Comments on “Like, Gag Me With A Remake”

  1. Life in the Boomer Lane Says:

    Clay Weiner? Is that seriously his name? That explains everything.

    Reply

  2. Lenore Diane Says:

    I was upset when I heard a Footloose remake was surfacing. I haven’t seen it, and I have no plans to see it. You can’t beat the best. And the original Footloose was the best.

    Now you are informing me that a remake to Valley Girl is in the works?

    The title of the post bothered me, but when I saw the pictures… oh, those pictures. My palms became sweaty. My heart raced, and I had to remind myself to breath. Valley Girl is my all time favorite ‘teen’ movie. I fell in love with Randy the minute I saw his eyes peering from the bathroom window. (Now, my legs are all wobbly.) My love has never wavered. Even, as you said – through all his (Nick) ‘stages’.

    If they can re-release Star Wars (pick an episode), then they can re-release Valley Girl. That may also generate hearing The Plimsouls on the radio again. They are like – a million miles away.

    Oh my gosh, I hope I can find Valley Girl playing somewhere today. I’ve gotta fever now, and more cowbell will not cure it. *sigh*

    Reply

  3. Elyse Says:

    What Hollywood needs is some new writer with new ideas. I am SO VERY TIRED of remakes. They remade SABRINA. They remake everything because they have no vision and because they don’t hire you or me or anyone like us to come up with new plots and stories.

    Oy vey.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I think a lot of this awfulness in remakes comes from the motivation. By which I mean, a remake like Roxanne, as a remake of Cyrano, or Fistful of Dollars as a remake of Yojimbo, or even a direct remake like Ocean’s 11 (which is kind of a remake of Rififi) can be very interesting, because it comes form the same place as a decision to do MacBeth set in a 70’s fast food restaurant (Scotland, PA – excellent). But when the motivation is a lazy harvesting of cash from people’s sentimentality? Great things do not occur.

      Reply

  4. gojulesgo Says:

    Did you see Nicolas Cage on SNL’s Weekend News Update last week? Hilarious.

    And how have I not seen Valley Girl? It sounds right up my Clueless-loving alley.

    I hope Hollywood hears your plea and excellent suggestion. But they might be too busy filming Whitney’s life story.

    Reply

  5. Blogdramedy Says:

    This is all the more reason you need to get more acting gigs…so you can work your way up to the big leagues (of gentlemen) and make sure stuff like this never happens again!

    Maybe this will make you feel better…you are now an award-winner (check out this post) and know you are on your way to greatness.

    http://blogdramedy.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/fragile-thats-italian-for-awesome/

    Reply

  6. Edward Hotspur Says:

    You’re pulling my clay weiner.

    Side note: Elizabeth Daily was the voice of Tommy from Rugrats. Also the voice of one of the Powerpuff Girls. I don’t know if she recorded these with her top off.

    Reply

  7. RFL Says:

    “You don’t remake that. You leave it alone.” Standing ovation.

    Reply

  8. Curly Carly Says:

    I haven’t seen Valley Girls, but I can assure I won’t see the remake if it’s being done by someone who would take on Fred. I watched about 5 minutes of that with my niece and wanted to pull my hair out.

    Reply

  9. H.E. ELLIS Says:

    Say it ain’t so!

    Reply

  10. thesinglecell Says:

    This is how I felt when I heard they were remaking “The Breakfast Club.” Whaaat?! Why the EFF would you remake that? “Footloose.” “Arthur.” “Fame.” “The Karate Kid.” “Weird Science.” “Top Gun.” All being remade. All really, really bad ideas. How does no one involved in these projects realize this? You cannot put Russell Freaking Brand in a movie and make me believe he’s Dudley Moore. You cannot put Jaden Smith in a movie and make me believe he’s Ralph Macchio. And do not – do not – do NOT talk to me about putting Vin Diesel in a movie and making me think he is even remotely similar to anyone who was in “Top Gun.”

    Post well done.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      The Top Gun remake would only work if they were willing to commit to all the homosexual double-entendres of the original.

      Didn’t hear about The Breakfast Club. That’s nauseating.

      Reply

      • jamie Says:

        Take another look at Arthur. Dudley Moore is funny, but the whole watch-this-drunk-guy-fall-over-it’s-hilarious premise was squeamy even then. But having the role reprised by a recovering alcoholic, now… WTFingF!?

        Reply

  11. jer Says:

    I was just listening to Frank Zappa’s “Valley Girl” when I saw this, which freaked me out.

    Reply

  12. booksnob Says:

    Erm, not to add insult to injury, but um…it’s going to be a musical. With singing and dancing. I poo you not.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      SON OF A BITCH.

      And I assume that when you say “Musical” you mean “fake musical” where instead of songs they simply take pop songs that were already successful and/or songs from the original soundtrack and sing them.

      SON OF A BITCH.

      Reply

      • booksnob Says:

        I assume that’s precisely what it means. The article I read (on mobile right now, but I will find for you when I can access my history) said that Weiner (heh) won the gig with a 30 minute tape of his vision for this (sure to be) crapfest, which included singing and choreographed dance numbers.

        Blech.

        Reply

  13. Deborah the Closet Monster Says:

    It’s punk rock as envisioned by Dan Fogerty.
    If the remake would be one-tenth as awesome as this sentence, I would totally watch it. Unfortunately, I don’t expect nearly that level of awesome.

    I’ve been thinking about remakes a lot these days. Hollywood folks go, “Why make something that hasn’t already proven it can win hearts when we can make something with a proven track record?” I know I could probably respond logically and thoughtfully, as you have here, but mostly this approach to making films makes my junk-kicking foot a little itchy.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      On one level, the remake is an inevitability – no one thinks twice about plays being redone and redone. That’s merely a staging. But there’s such a blatant crassness to most remakes of films. Occasionally there’s one that’s remade for the right reason. Usually though…?

      Reply

  14. MJ, Nonstepmom Says:

    I dont get it – I would think Valley Girl would have too limited audience…but I dont really care, I’m swooning over the “Raising Arizona” reference – Best N. Cage Movie EVER !!!! (I’m sure he would appreciate that comment).

    “I’ll just be taking these Huggies and whatever cash ya got in the register…”
    MWAH hahahahahahahaahaha.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      That limited (yet devoted) audience is exactly why it’d be the worst kind of remake – it seeks to mock its source material, rather than pay tribute. They come to bury Valley Girl not to praise her.

      Reply

  15. Jamie Says:

    Oh you poor deluded bastard. It’s just as well you haven’t noticed that we’re also remaking WarGames, which will also be AWESOME (& an equally huge success) for all the same reasons!

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I heard about the War Games remake. Unless they can CGI in a young Ally Sheedy, I ain’t a-watchin’.

      Reply

      • jamie Says:

        What is the point? I can’t imagine that an update would work, and trying to outfit all that 80’s technology & outfits will quadruple the budget (and they won’t be able to do it without smirking). Plus, how can you duplicate Ally Sheedy running as if it’s only been described to her… (Also, keep smirking d-bags, everyone but you knows the faux hawk is this generation’s mullet). Plus, how much more awkward could this comment be? None, none more. (hey how about a remake of Spinal Tap?) Argh.

        Reply

  16. fussylady Says:

    I currently reside in Hollywood (originally from Uk) and have to admit i kind of feel the same about remakes, some movies are just better staying the classic way they were. I’d be devastated if they tried to remake ‘Dirty dancing’ or ‘Ferris Beullers day off’. Believe it or not i’ve never actually seen ‘Valley Girls’ but just from your description i’m going to rent it this weekend! Nice post. http://www.thefussyone.com

    Reply

  17. ifiwerebraveblog Says:

    This is a travesty. Whenever I see Nicolas Cage acting like a douchebag, I remember this movie, and I forgive.

    Reply

  18. Jackie Cangro Says:

    The next thing you know, they’ll be remaking Dirty Dancing or Fast Times at Ridgemont High. In 3-D. Some things are sacred, people. Please, please leave Baby alone.

    Reply

  19. Jennifer D. Munro Says:

    The remake will probably star Nicolas Cage, too. I want to stand by him long-term, like you, because of Moonstruck (almost wrote Moonlighting, same era) but just can’t. Great post. Great blog. Thanks, from http://www.StraightNoChaserMom.com.

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Real Detention is Nothing Like The Breakfast Club | A Rich, Full Life In Spite of It - February 21, 2012

    […] saw a post from The Byronic Man about Valley Girl the other day, and someone tweeted about how unrealistic Emilio’s portrayal […]

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