HELLO LADIES AND GENTS, it is time to chat about another one of my favorite goddesses from the eighties …. Shelley Long. You may know her from Cheers, Outrageous Fortune (starring my other idol Bette Midler) or even the little known masterpiece, Hello Again!, but for me her most memorable role was as the gold-hearted glamourpuss Phyllis Nefler in Troop Beverly Hills!
Not only did this movie speak to lil’ Rie Rie back in the Girl Scout (dropout) days, but it featured some of the most famous network TV child actors back then like Harriet from Small Wonder, Margot from Punky Brewster, Kellie Martin from Life Goes On and even Jenny Lewis when Rilo Kiley was just a twinkle in her eye.
When we first meet Phyllis, she is a spoiled Beverly Hills housewife going through a divorce from her sugar daddy played by Craig T. Nelson aka COACH. In an effort to start anew, she decides to become the leader of her daughter’s Wilderness Girls Troop…but can Phyllis, who only cares about jewelry, chisme, shopping and getting her nailsdid, be a good role model for the girls?
LOOK AT ALL THESE OUTRAGEOUS GETUPS! The costume designer was none other than Theodora Van Runkle who was the designer for Bonnie and Clyde.
Now Phyllis doesn’t conform easily. Like every badass babe, she respects the traditions of her new responsibility, but does things HER WAY. She tweaks things to retain her uniqueness starting with the uniforms. I LOVE THEM!! I wish I had every single one and I hate beige! KHAKI-LISHIS.
GIMME THE GOLD NEF!
You know I love a woman who dresses in theme.
The sad truth is this is how I look like when I am about to leave on a weekend trip.
I loved their craft presentation which was a backpack that held dresses in wrinkle-free condition. I need that in my life for when I go hiking in the mountains.
In no time, ol’ Phyll finds her place as a Wilderness Girl leader but not before dealing with a mob of haters (including preteen Tori Spelling) who try to sabotage her and the troop!
Luckily she has the support of her girls including bff Vickie, played by Stephanie Beacham of Dynasty fame. She is a sultry romance novelist who is always wearing leopard print…. HOLD THE PHONE. WAS THAT AN ODE TO OUR VERY OWN JACKIE COLLINS!!? I didn’t realize that until now! There was some line about “his manhood rising to a pulsating frenzy” that has stuck in my head all these years…NATURALLY!
Phyllis is able to carry herself with grace under pressure and wears a fabulous hat while doing so.
She ends up becoming an amazing troop leader and an inspiration to the girls and EVEN resurrects COACH’s boner for her.
And now… a CONTEST!
On November 13, Troop Beverly Hills: THE EXPERIENCE, a “sing-a-long, dance-a-long, quote-a-long!” of our fave movie, will be playing at the Downtown Independent Theater in LA! Aaand it’s a double feature with Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitters Dead (another fave of mine.) I am giving away two tickets to the show to one lucky Wilderness Girl or Boy! All you have to do is let me know if you were in the troop… what patch would you have earned? Most clever answer wins! I would definitely have earned the Bangs Tutorial Patch. The winner will be announced on Monday morning. YOU CAN STILL ENTER! COME ON LOS ANGELES!