Cinema as an art form peaked on March 24, 1989. That’s when Shelly Long delivered a tour de force performance as Phyllis Nefler, the dilettante den mother of Troop Beverly Hills.
Sure, it has an 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.4/10 on IMDb, but brilliance isn’t always measured in critical consensus. I mean, it usually is, but not always. TBH’s charms are myriad and varied, but for now, here are 9 simple reasons it’s the best thing that ever happened.
Be sure to check out Troop Beverly Hills on Logo this Sunday, September 6 at 6pm.
1. The Fashions
Clearly half the film’s budget went towards Shelly Long’s wardrobe, which was 80s decadence on a fabulous mixture of steroids and cocaine.
2. Jenny Lewis
Jenny Lewis, who later garnered acclaim as part of the band Rilo Kiley, might look familiar for another reason: She had already played Daisy, the meanest Girl Scout of all time on The Golden Girls.
3. The Side Ponytails
Somethings never go out of style.
4. Shelly Morrison
Before she was the maid and confidante of crazy white lady Karen Walker on Will and Grace, Morrison was the maid and confidante of crazy rich white lady Phyllis Nefler.
Though Phyllis’s antics pale in comparison to Karen’s, it no doubt prepared her for the boozy shenanigans that came later.
5. The Dancing
Shelly Long, is there anything you can’t do?
6. “Cookie Time”
It’s Cookie Time! It’s Cookie Time! Cook! Ie! Time!
Meanwhile, this should be the theme song for Season Two of Empire.
7. This Queen
It wouldn’t be an ’80s movie without a gay stereotype and TBH has Monsieur Henri, the effete tailor behind Phyllis’s endless wardrobe.
Henri also gives her Wilderness Girl outfit a much needed update.
8. This Other Queen
Native 90210 resident Tori Spelling tries to shade her old ’hood as one of the mean Wilderness Girls.
9. The Life Lessons
Phyllis learns a lot about herself in the course of the film, and she imparts that wisdom on not only to her troop but the audience as well.
Essentially watching Troop Beverly Hills makes you a better person, critics be damned!
Les Fabian Brathwaite, Wilderness Gurl.