On a day when Josh was reminiscing about some of his favorite movies from 25 years ago, I got bored and ended up in one of those trances where you spend like a half hour bouncing from link to link in Wikipedia until you can't remember what you were looking for in the first place, and I stumbled upon a movie that time has mostly forgotten. Among other things, it features:
· Carla Gugino in her feature-film debut
· Tori Spelling, also in her feature-film debut
· Kellie Martin in only her third big-screen appearance, and still months before the premiere of "Life Goes On"
· The lead singer from Rilo Kiley
· Cameos including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Cheech Marin, and Annette Funicello
It's killing you, isn't it? Here's the film in question:
Yeah, I remember seeing this as a 10-year-old back in 1989, and have probably caught at least a few minutes of it rocketing through cable channels at some point since then. Here's a clip:
The girl telling the ghost story at the beginning of the clip is Emily Schulman, whom I know you remember as Harriet the annoying next-door neighbor kid on "Small Wonder." (Well, I know Josh remembers her.) In the two shot at 0:29, that's Kellie Martin on the left, and on the right I think that's Ami Foster, whom even Josh may not remember as Margeaux Kramer, the rich girl from "Punky Brewster." Shelley Long's daughter is played by Jenny Lewis, who went on to appear in "The Wizard" (yes, the Nintendo movie) and "Pleasantville" and then helped form Rilo Kiley in 1998. Tori Spelling doesn't show up until more than halfway through the clip, but she's helpfully marked by whoever posted it to YouTube.
And Carla Gugino is the one on the right at 0:17, playing "Chica Barnfell," whom the movie's Wikipedia page describes as a "stern girl who is generally left alone by her jet-setting parents." She appeared in "This Boy's Life" four years later, "Snake Eyes" five years after that, and appeared in 10 more feature-length films before making about the most memorable entrance in film history in "Sin City" in 2005.
And earlier this year, of course, she stole the show in "Watchmen" by looking like this:
Wow. I don't know whether to feel turned on, uncomfortable, or just old. I guess I'll go with "a combination of all of the three."
But anyway, the point is that "Troop Beverly Hills," despite its lukewarm reviews and negligible box-office performance back in the spring of 1989, might have just turned out to be one of the great bellwether films of our time. Prolific careers were launched here, people. So at long last let's give the movie some credit.
Oh, and Shelley Long was a fox back in 1989, too. Never should've quit "Cheers," but a fox all the same. I'm just saying.