Wait, What?: Troop Beverly Hills Edition

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

I've always had a soft spot for 80's comedies, and Troop Beverly Hills is no exception (much to Tom's annoyance). It really captures the decadence and excess of the decade while still being full of heart, life lessons, and the greatness that is the "Cookie Time" dance.

However, as with most things I watch, I find myself sometimes doing double takes and wondering what the heck is going on with certain parts of the film.

  • Fred Nefler (Craig T. Nelson) seemed really offended that his estranged wife Phyllis (Shelley Long) suggested that he had gotten his parenting wisdom from watching Donahue, and instead vehemently protested that he had heard Oprah say it. Now I have never actually watched an episode of Donahue, and don't really know anything about Phil Donahue, but I can't understand why watching Donahue is more shameful than watching Oprah
  • Little Sean Astin + little Jenny Lewis = twinsies.

  • I don't know why, but some of the facial expressions she makes (at two points, in particular) really kind of creep me out. To be fair, these stills don't really do them justice, because the weirdness is actually comprised of a few small expressions combined into one (if that makes sense). But she does look awfully smug here, if nothing else. I realize that these girls are supposed to be spoiled little rich girls, but nobody else ever looks as smug as Tiffany.

  • Is it Easter? Because that's the only explanation I can offer for Phyllis's parade of hats. There are so. many. hats. Was that a thing with rich women in the 80's?
  • Velda Plendor (Betty Thomas), pretty much the worst, puts being a Wilderness Girl above literally everything else in her life (including the fact that she's a mother, widow, and ex-Army nurse). She takes it SO seriously. Now, I come from a Scouting family. My gramps was a Scoutmaster, my dad and uncle are Eagle Scouts, my dad was Cubmaster and Scoutmaster, and my brother, sister, and I were all Scouts at one point or another. But I cannot imagine any of us being so completely obsessed with Scouting, or being offended that some rich kids got to have a troop of their own. It's a little scary, actually. She gets annoyed when her own daughter calls her "mom" at Wilderness Girl functions. The woman is cray.
  • Troop Beverly Hills put together a backpack that has a pop-out clothing bar for their Wilderness craft, and everybody laughed at them. What I don't get is why. Yes, it's not necessarily wilderness-y, but it's pretty creative, and I know a lot of people who would actually enjoy having something like that when camping or traveling; it's a great way to maximize space. In a lot of movies, the rich girls are the bullies, but they're definitely on the receiving end in this movie.

  • Why are Chica Barnfell's (Carla Gugino) parents always gone? I mean, I get traveling when you have money, but seriously, spend some time with your kid? Why do they never take Chica with them? And jetting off to Monte Carlo on her birthday? You suck, Barnfells.

  • I generally just don't know what to do with my body at all when dancing, but I am excellent at The Freddie, thanks to Troop Beverly Hills. Why does nobody ever do The Freddie these days?

Oh, yeah. That's why.

  • In divorce court, the judge says they'll schedule the next hearing for six weeks from that day. Fred's lawyer (who is also Claire's dad) asks if they can move it up, because Fred is considering getting married again. Uh, you can't wait six weeks to get married to your mid-life crisis? Really? That's just cold.
  • Why don't we ALL have a patriotic pirate jazz band play at parties? "Row Row Row Your Boat" never sounded so fab.
  • Why did the Wilderness Girls organization not fire Velda when all her crazy started showing? She is definitely NOT a good role model for girls.
  • There is an option within the Wilderness Girls to create your own patches, and the Beverly Hills troop does that for several (but not all) of their patches. Velda, sucks at life, decides that because those patches don't meet her standards of what a Wilderness Girl should be, so she takes all of their patches, even though some of them (like the CPR patch) are totally legit patches. Velda is just awful.
  • Why is Fred's new lady, Lisa, such a jerk? I get that she's younger, and doesn't seem to have an interest in "family life", but she's really crappy about anything with the Wilderness Girls, and doesn't seem to care about Hannah. I just can't understand why someone with a kid would want to be with someone who really didn't seem to like his kid (not to mention all the stuff she says about Phyllis). Mid-life crisis indeed.

This movie is a classic, and probably until I die, if someone says "Beverly Hills", I will feel the need to follow it with "what a thrill!", because a world without Troop Beverly Hills references is not a world I want to live in.

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