STREAMING HIGHLIGHTS JULY 24: Valley Girl, Kissing Game & Fatal Affair

NOSTALGIC: Jessica Rothe and Josh Whitehouse star in a musical re-make of the '80s teen romantic-comedy Valley Girl. Below, Kissing Game.

NOSTALGIC: Jessica Rothe and Josh Whitehouse star in a musical re-make of the '80s teen romantic-comedy Valley Girl. Below, Kissing Game.

VALLEY GIRL

Stan

SUNGLASSES are almost advised when watching scenes from the re-make of Valley Girl. It's bright, gaudy and ridiculously exaggerated. It's the '80s on steroids where everyone is wearing pink or pastel, a shoulder-pad jacket, leg warmers and perms, while dancing to Cyndi Lauper.

Valley Girl is the re-imagining of the 1983 romantic-comedy, which starred a 19-year-old Nicholas Cage, about a popular middle-class girl from San Fernando Valley who dumps her jock boyfriend for a punk rocker from Hollywood.

The new Valley Girl follows the plot from the original, but turns the film into a musical pastiche of '80s valley girl culture. Just imagine an episode of Glee thrown into an '80s shopping mall.

Many of the musical numbers like The Go-Go's We Got The Beat and Kim Wilde's Kids In America are terrific fun and perfectly suited, but the scene featuring a bunch of "punk kids" singing Joan Jett's Bad Reputation is nauseating.

Clueless star and the ultimate '90s valley girl Alicia Silverstone pops up as a "cool mum" and narrator and female lead Jessica Rothe impresses as the naive Julie, who is searching to break out of her conservative life. But co-star Josh Whitehouse never convinces as the bad boy Randy, no matter how many tattoos and torn jeans he wears.

Valley Girl lacks the subtly of the original, but if approached as pure escapism, '80s lovers will enjoy the blast from the past.

FORBIDDEN LOVE: Nia Long and Omar Epps in Fatal Affair.

FORBIDDEN LOVE: Nia Long and Omar Epps in Fatal Affair.

FATAL AFFAIR

Netflix

NETFLIX recently had great success with a woefully bad movie in 365 Days. Sometimes viewers just crave cheesy melodrama. It explains the enduring popularity of soap operas.

Fatal Affair snugly fits into the it's-so-bad-it's-actually-entertaining category. The dialogue is midday movie quality and even the capable Nia Long and Omar Epps fail to provide any gravitas.

The story follows married lawyer Ellie (Long) who has a near one-night stand with an old college friend David (Epps). After Ellie rejects his advances, David becomes an obsessed and violent stalker. Does the plot sound familiar? Unlike the 1987 classic Fatal Attraction there's no brooding tension, Glenn Close and certainly no boiled bunnies.

Rather just a few unintended laughs which will leave you questioning why did I watch this?

EDGY: Brazilian series, Kissing Game.

EDGY: Brazilian series, Kissing Game.

KISSING GAME

Netflix

IT'S safe to assume outbreak-inspired TV shows are being written throughout the globe right now in response to COVID-19, so in that respect, Kissing Game is ahead of the curve.

The Brazilian series is grittier than your typical American or Australia teen drama. The story unfolds in the rural town of Progresso, where a disease begins to spread among teens who kissed each other at a drug-fuelled rave. The unknown virus leaves its victims with black bruising around their mouth.

The use of EDM and flashbacks to the bacchanalian rave create a sinister overtone that pervades the series.

The domineering influence of social media in the lives of the teens, and their reaction to the outbreak versus the conservative panic of their parents, also provides a sense of realism.

Kissing Game is one of the more unusual offerings from Netflix, but it's worth puckering up for.

REVIEWS: JOSH LEESON