Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that Troop Beverly Hills, a fish-out-of-water comedy released in 1989, like its heroine Phyllis Nefler is not aging gracefully. Phyllis, would-be leader of the Wilderness Girls of Beverly Hills (an unflattering parody of the Girl Scouts), smokes incessantly, drinks wine at any hour of the day or night, and initially is clueless about the needs of the troop of young girls put in her care. It's all in a quest for laughs, and there definitely are some of those, but the gleeful put-downs of people with money are so exaggerated that any sense of reality is lost within moments of the opening credits. Stereotypes include: selfish, amoral, shallow people with money; a hard-edged female scout leader; a gay designer; a hip-hopping young African-American; a Latina housekeeper; and a dimwitted businessman. Occasional swearing and sexual remarks ("damn," "hell," "s--t," "bitches," "slut," "boob job," "boffing"), and there is mild sexual innuendo in several scenes. The action is all farcical: pratfalls, a shaky bridge, an encounter with a snake, a short ghost story. Product placement is exhaustive; expensive brands and places fill the screen with images of affluence.
Comic innuendo includes: mentions of breast implants; an elderly man eagerly grabbing a "girly" magazine; and observations about a divorced father's new girlfriend "sleeping over." Also, in a CPR training session, the handsome police officer and the troop leader exchange mildly suggestive remarks. Skimpy clothing is worn by women participating in an exercise class. A husband and wife kiss several times.
Farcical pratfalls. Scout leader falls off a window ledge; teeters on an unsafe bridge; falls into a swimming pool. Troop encounters a snake and a skunk. Villain falls and breaks her ankle. The girls tell portions of mildly frightening ghost stories. In a brief scene after a scout leader picks up a skunk, she's wearing a "skunk hat," implying that she killed the skunk. After a starter's gun initiates a race, a bird falls from the sky, implying that it was shot.
Occasional swearing: "damn," "slut," "bitches," "hell," "s--t," "screw." Suggestive dialogue: "boffing," "boob job," "felt his manhood rising to a frenzy." Brief, infrequent sexual innuendo.
An assault on the shallowness of the rich, the film promotes friendship, responsibility, and doing the right thing. Messages take a back seat to parody.
An onslaught of images and references to upscale products and stores as a means of identifying materialism of the Beverly Hills elite: Evian, the Beverly Hills Hotel, Gemballa autos, Rolls-Royce, Cartier, Vogue, Spago. Other products featured: Head athletic gear, Kmart, Laura Ashley, Coca-Cola, Abbey Party Rents, and several magazines.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Troop leader smokes frequently, often using a cigarette holder and emphasizing the activity. She also drinks wine in numerous scenes; other adults often join her.