Monday, May 16, 2011


One of the greatest challenges in life is trying to decide which Girl Scout cookie to buy? It can get intense. You are low on cash, you aren't exactly when they stop selling them and the low octane/adorable peer pressure can make the strongest crumble.
I just always get Samoas. Done. I don't have to work about it, but I still long for a good Tagalongs or the "healthy" Thin Mint.
Those darn Girl Scouts of America work their buns off to bring this country something that keeps us moving forward. They deliver us a little spot of joy for a very limited amount of time and never really ask for anything from us. They never come around knocking my door and bugging me. You hardly ever see a Girl Scout troop roaming around. They stay out of sight. I have always thought they deserved more. My older sister was a Girl Scout for at least six months. My younger sister not so much. Where is THEIR TV show? Where is their Broadway musical?! YEAH! YEAH!! The truth is that they don't need anything because it was written in BadMovieArt lore that there would come to pass a Shelley Long vanity vehicle that would bring The Girl Scouts of America onto the big screen. Credit Due. Just tooted up a bit!

Directed by Jeff Kanew, who had given us REVENGE OF THE NERDS and written by a couple of critically acclaimed female TV writers, TBH has this weird mesh mash of a two hour pilot for a TV show and a mean streak of "BLUE" humor. There are also a lot of curse words and a couple of dicks jokes. Not raunchy, but a shade bluer than a made for TV movie. Shelley Long successfully broke away from a beloved Emmy winning TV show and moved right into movies with ease. The Money Pit and Outrageous Fortune (a BMA mainstay) were wildly popular and remain classics to this day. HELLO AGAIN went on to gay and girl cult status, but TBH's unsuccessful run at the box office would send her back to television. Her performance as Truddi Chase in Voices Within: The Lives of Truddi Chase is a true GIT IT GIRL moment. I have only seen it once and that was enough for me. I will never forget it. Then I read the book When Rabbit Howls, which is kinda like The Further Adventures of Truddi Chase and it fucked me up. Thanks Shelley. At the time it seemed Troop Beverly Hills would just fade into the back of comedy sections in video store. Shelley didn't care. She continued to work and had a massive comeback with The Brady Bunch Movie and A Very Brady Sequel. Both are comedy masterpieces. Troop Beverly Hills had something that most movies of the time didn't have. An entire female cast! Girls rejoiced! None of this only two girl Goonies bullshit or no fucking Lost Girls in Lost Boys. This one was strictly for the ladies. HEEEY!!!

In the grand tradition of all great comedies, the animated opening credit sequence is to DIE for. Up there with Mannequin and Who's That Shitbox? TBH sells it! Long plays Phyllis Nefler a spoiled, fashion forward Beverly Hills housewife who loves to shop and cannot seem to finish anything she starts. It's so bad that both her estranged husband, played by hunky Craig T. Nelson, and her daughter, not played by Craig T. Nelson, bring it up to her on a daily basis. Well, when she catches wind that her pre teens wilderness girls troop has run another troop leader out of town, she decides that she is the right gal for the job!

Phyllis has to deal with the politics of the Wilderness Girls upper management and makes an enemy out of the head Wilderness Lady. The sexual chemistry that crackles between these two will melt your sugar free chocolate chip cookie right in your hand! Betty Thomas plays the lesbian predator, Velda Pendor. She is tough as balls and has a set of nuts to prove it! She is the salt in the saccharin sweet limbo of Phyllis. Oh, yes! You almost want them to start making out by the end of the movie. We all know arch enemy sex is ALWAYS the best sex. But anyway...

The rest of the cast is made of the ever hardworking BMA lifer, Mary Gross and Pia Zadora playing herself! NICE! The girls of Troop Beverly Hills are made up of a great lil' redhead, Hillary Whitney, Everyday Girl, Nerd Girl, Nina Simone and mini Jackie Collins. Everyone is great in it. We even get arch enemy team, The Red Feathers. There are a bunch of girls in the troop, but only TomBoy and Tori Spelling get any screen time. Which is fine with me.

The movie is broken up into two major pieces of gay work. B.C.T.( Before Cookie Time) and A.C.T. (After Cookie Time). The musical number "Cookie Time" is a sorta messiah to a certain sect of gays and girls. If you know, then you know. If you don't know, then you are about to know.

B.C.T. is full of the Shelley Long getting us to doing something besides be fabulous and the girls starting to develop their story lines. They all get one. Short and sweet, but at least a story line. Think Babysitter's Club but with badges and sashes, but no babies. A very GREEN affair. We get to dance along with the girls as they go for their "Dance Womanship" badge. Basically, it is a call for all the girls at slumber parties across the this great nation of ours to get up and make as much noise as possible to drive parents insane. But, the show stopper is something called "The Freddie". I had lived a full decade and some change when I first saw this thing called "The Freddie" for the first time in TBH. Even Shelly Long's face when she has to say, "This one is called The Freddy" can't muster up any humor in it. And I'll be goddamned if you don't haul your ass up to try to do it. It's is freakish and impossible to do, but it sums up the tone of the movie.

OH! DEENA!! The camping scene. Shit. Fondue, floppy hats and flash floods! Three of my favorite things that start with the letter F. I love when they say, "Fuck it" and go to the fancy hotel. Quite possibly one of the best ghost stories involving a perm is told and everyone has a great time. Sounds like my camping fantasy come true.

We also get a hot cop who teaches the girls CPR and Shelley gets to make out in front of a bunch of pre teens girls to a song called, "French Kissin' In The U.S.A". Great song. The plot really kicks into gear as the girls MUST sell the most cookies so they can go to the Country Bear Jamboree. At first the fucking Red Feathers one up them, but never ever piss off a Wilderness Girl whose zip code is 90210. Cuz this is what you will get! IN YOUR FACE RED FEATHERS!!!! They launch a full scale attack on their counter parts that the military should start using. Dancing, Singing and selling those cookies are all part of a days work for these girls. COOKIE TIME IS ON! Everything changes!

Winning by a landslide, we morph into A.C.T. It is the last 20 to 25 minutes of the movie and A.C.T. plants the entire cast in the middle of the woods and they have to bond together and learn the true meaning of what being a REAL Wilderness Girl is. Lots of girls screaming, running around, breaking legs and more screaming. But at the end, Phyllis and her troop triumph over evil and send Velda Pendor to Kmart to make some end of credit blue light special jokes. Those were huge at the end of the 80's and really funny!

TROOP BEVERLY HILLS has to be one of the most consistantly funny movies for gays and girls ever made. I swear, Lady Gaga stole ideas from Phyllis Nefler's wardrobe. The entire cast is likable and really into their roles. The rewatchability of TBH is very high and seems like a perfect movie to throw in the VCR when you have a bunch of screaming girls at your house. Or screaming gays as the case may be. I am going to say it right now.... LONG LIVE TROOP BEVERLY HILLS!!! What a fucking thrill!

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