Nicolas Cage lived in his car during the filming to make the character of 'Randy' more real. Director Martha Coolidge also sent the whole cast to high school in the Valley to prepare them for their parts.
Cage was turned off at first by the title of the script because he had really hated valley girls in high school & claimed they were bimbos but with some convincing from director Martha Coolidge, he realized the script was about so much more.
The first scene of the movie was filmed at the Del Amo Fashion Show Mall in Torrance, Ca. Not the Sherman Oaks Galleria. The girls were coming down the escalator, and the guys were going up. Julie breaks up with Tommy. I remember this, because I lived in Torrance, Ca and was there. I was with some friends shopping. I remember saying to my friends Dave U and Eric S this doesn't look like a very good movie. Actually it turned out to be one of the best High School type movies ever made. I am 41, and it is still one of my favorites.
Update: Heidi Holicker herself wrote in to confirm that no shots were filmed at the Galleria.
Yes, it has been confirmed in the interview in the DVD edition of the film with Nicolas Cage & Martha Coolidge that the Romeo & Juliet story line & references were all intentional. When they are doing the clip montage, Randy & Julie are standing & kissing underneath a movie Marquee that reads Romeo & Juliet!
Yes, Coolidge did find Nicolas Cage's photo in the reject pile & got angry at the casting directors, saying that while the guys they had considered were all good-looking, they couldn't act, while Cage could and had the looks as well (even though he wasn't perfect looking like the others).
E.G. Daily said she had the hardest time with the valley girl accent because she was never a valley girl and that she had to create her own accent in order to make it work (even if it sounded different from the other girls' accents).
Cage & Bowen became good friends during the shooting of the film & Cage said when guys would try to start fights with them, Bowen would repeatedly ask them "You bad? You bad?" & they would just back off.
At the beginning of the film when the girls are shopping at the mall, the store they shop in is Wet Seal - a very popular and trendy 80s boutique (you can read the store name on the shopping bag and on the credit card machine). Wet Seal continues to be popular store for "girly-girls" today!
Anonymous kindly updated: Yeah, you can see Wayne Crawford's (co writer of VG) Bank Of America card being used on the wet seal card swiper.
Nic Cage intentionally shaved his chest hair in a V for the beach scene where him and Julie see each other for the first time. Just an odd choice he wanted.
Alex kindly wrote in with more info: According to the Dialog between Martha Coolidge and Nicolas Cage in the 20th Anniversary release DVD of Valley Girl, Nicolas Cage shaved his chest hair for the beach scene at her request since she felt he was unbelievably hairy for a 17-year-old (even though he was actually 17 years old at the time).
He states that the design he shaved was intended to mimic the Superman logo.
Deborah Foreman does not appear in the DVD extras because she allegedly held out for money and they passed on paying her, as everyone who was featured in the extras was not paid. Too bad. I also heard after the success of Valley Girl, she would not audition and she accepted offers only, which arguably ruined her career.
I saw a screening of Valley Girl with live commentary from the cast and some crew. Deborah Foreman showed up even! Deborah explained about the girl Nic Cage makes out with in the club when "Julie" has dumped him.
She said that was the girl they used for the actual Valley Girl poster which you can see is not Deborah Foreman. She didn't elaborate.
The distributors of the Film demanded that there be nude breasts in the movie in more than one scene, to compete with movies like Fast Times and Porky's.
Director, Martha Coolidge had to find logical places that would work, such as EG Daily's topless scene with 'Tommy', even though it still reads as just an excuse for nudity. As well the make out scene with the Ex girlfriend in the club bathroom that Nic Cage has.
This may not seem a relevant "behind the scenes" but I asked Martha Coolidge at a Q&A for Valley Girl, I told her it was my favorite Love story of all time and if she in fact meant the movie to be as deeply emotional and as special as it was, because lots of Filmmakers will claim it was a happy accident, or they were just trying to get it made as quickly as possible etc.
She said YES she really wanted to make the best movie possible and she explained that you have to disguise real stories, and real life, in pulp. You have to take a real love story then wrap it in pulp. Which meant you take a heart felt, real love story and then wrap it in a teen pop movie.
I have a old copy of Valley Girl on VHS it was released by Vestron Video in 1983. I found it in a small local Video Store. The sound is not all that great it's not in stereo-HiFi it's recorded in mono. On the cover the tagline says "She's cool. He's hot. She's from the Valley. He's not. Featuring music by: MEN AT WORK, JOSSIE COTTON, THE PLIMSOULS, etc. On this version of the film at the Val Party before Randy climbs through the bathroom window you can hear MEN AT WORKs "WHO CAN IT BE" (now) playing in the background. But on the DVD its a "Totally" different song playing.