PRE-MADONNAS, shot in 1991 under the title SOCIAL SUICIDE, is a harmless satire about California debutantes and what happens when one of them wants to attend a coming-out ball with a Hispanic boy instead of the rich WASP approved by her mother.
Snobby Beverly Hills matron Ava Sterling (Bobbie Bresee) wants her daughter, Kim (Shannon Sturges), to go to the Las Madonnas debutante ball with Scott Robertson (Kenn Cooper). Scott is the son of Senator Robertson (Jack Carter), who could help Ava's husband in a lucrative land development deal.
But Kim stuns her mother by saying she wants to attend the ball with a Mexican classmate, Tom Garcia (Peter Anthony Elliott). Kim goes to see Tom at his job at a melon-packing factory and convinces him to take her to the ball.
Kim's parents try to talk her out of it, offering her a Porsche, but she refuses. Ava offers Tom $100 and a one-way ticket to Mexico, but he turns her down because, unbeknownst to Kim, he lives in Bel Air and his family owns the fruit-packing company.
Kim is impressed with Tom because he's in competition for a prestigious university award, so Ava schemes to make Scott a nominee as well. During a school presentation, Scott sabotages Tom's speech, and the dean tells Tom the only chance he has to win the award is to perform a special community
service assignment--the same night as Kim's ball. When Tom tells Kim he can't go to the ball, she's so mad at him that she agrees to go with Scott.
Tom changes his mind, but Ava purposely tells him the wrong time to pick Kim up. By the time Tom arrives at the house, Scott and Kim are already gone, but Kim's sympathetic grandmother drives Tom to the dance.
Kim shocks everyone at the ball by appearing in a garish, flamenco-style dress. Tom sneaks inside and dances with Kim, but Scott arranges for a stripper to pop out of a cake and say that Tom hired her. Tom responds by calling all his Hispanic friends, who turn the ball into a wild party. Scott
lures Kim into a back room and starts to molest her, but Tom beats him up, wins Kim's heart, and is awarded the college prize.
PRE-MADONNAS was made five years before its direct-to-video release. That might explain its dated sensibility, which is a mixture of John Hughes's 1980s teen satires and the slew of slobs vs. snobs comedies inspired by ANIMAL HOUSE. The humor is typically crude, although largely innocuous.
The cast is amiable, with B-movie horror star Bobbie Bresee quite amusing as the snooty mother. As Kim, Shannon Sturges has little to do except pout and be cute, and she performs that task adequately enough. But one wonders what her grandfather, the legendary writer-director Preston Sturges, would
make of her Valley Girl dialect, let alone the whole film. (Sexual situations, profanity).
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- Released: 1995
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: PRE-MADONNAS, shot in 1991 under the title SOCIAL SUICIDE, is a harmless satire about California debutantes and what happens when one of them wants to attend a coming-out ball with a Hispanic boy instead of the rich WASP approved by her mother. Snobby Bev… (more)