Janice Darcy has always felt inferior and unpopular when compared to rich, pretty girls. Her insecurity intensifies when she moves with her husband and young daughter from a middle-class neighborhood in Tampa, Florida, to the well-to-do, class-conscious South Tampa neighborhood. Desperate to fit in and be seen as successful, she starts a socialite training class for moms who are new to the area, giving them information on the "in places" to shop, send their children, eat and be seen. The only trouble with this plan is that Janice doesn't know most of the answers and tries to make it up as she goes along.
With all of her attention focused on her popularity, Janice alienates her husband, doesn't pay enough attention to her mischevious daughter and goes deep into debt to finance her shopping expeditions and home improvement projects. She and her husband separate and she is forced to let her quirky mother move in to help with expenses.
A parvenue is a female upstart, and this word describes the social-climbing-obsessed Janice perfectly. She thinks that her life will be perfect if only she paints her living room the perfect shade, or throws the perfect party, or wears the right clothes.
This report prepared by Lisa Ciurro