Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Immediately when I started watching “Troop Beverly Hills” I saw my own mother in the main character Phyllis Nefler. Not only because she is also a fabulous shopper who’s sense of style outweighs her wilderness skills or sense of direction but because like Phyllis, she may do things a little differently yet she still has good intensions and always accomplishes her goal. Even though Shelley Long was playing a typical Beverly Hills housewife as Phyllis Nefler, her character was surprisingly very lovable and fun. The film had fun with some stereotypes of rich people and Beverly Hills like how Phyllis is obsessed with shopping or all the girls liking expensive things and being daughters of actors, plastic surgeons, directors, athletes or child stars themselves. However, the film also defied the stereotypes of everyone from Beverly Hills or with money being stuck up or not adventurous. The film had a positive message, especially for young girls, of how anyone can accomplish their goals and prove everyone wrong if they aren’t afraid to work hard and really try. It also touched on subjects of children of divorced parents or children who feel neglected. It did all this while having fun with the characters and having Phyllis lead them into hilarious situations like having them check into a four star hotel instead of camping out or performing on stage “It’s Cookie Time” instead of selling cookies door to door. Betty Thomas as Velda Plendor, made a terrific villain as the more butch, experienced, and mocking troop leader of the Red Feathers. Whether or not you agreed with the different way Phyllis lead her troop of Beverly Hills girls, it’s hard not to root for them to win the wilderness girl trophy. Phyllis also has the audience root that not only she proves her husband wrong that she can’t lead the girls but also that they will eventually get back together because the movie shows how one must find themselves before they can be in a good relationship. Phyllis is an all around modern woman not afraid of a challenge and to go outside her comfort level especially in one of the last scenes of her leading the girls into a hike through treacherous woods or actually wearing the awful color that is khacki. While on the subject of fashion, this film was not afraid to have fun with clothes and give the characters, especially Phyllis who redid her troop leader uniform and had a fashion show, fun crazy 80’s styles that designers still play up today. This movie definitely reminded me of “Clueless” or “Legally Blonde” but with a little more of an adventure aspect in how the girls had to earn their patches. After watching this, I would say that maybe I would have considered joining wilderness girls if I had a troop leader like Phyllis because her approach to wilderness is way more exciting and glamorous.