Spice World (1998)

No More Mr. Nice Spice

Today I get back into the long neglected list of review recommendations that I had to put on hold for most of October. Today’s movie was requested by my friend Amanda, probably with the express desire to torture me for her own twisted enjoyment. Well I am not one to back down from a challenge, so I bring to you one of the movies that will no doubt revolutionize cinema, winner of 47 Academy Awards, one for “Best Movie Ever”: Spice World, directed (I was as surprised as you that someone directed this) by Bob Spiers, and starring (in order of hottest to least hot) Melanie Chisholm, Victoria Beckham, Emma Bunton, Melanie Brown, and Geri Halliwell, as well as Richard E. Grant, Alan Cumming, George Wendt, Mark McKinney, Roger Moore, Meat Loaf, Barry Humphries, Naoko Mori, and Claire Rushbrook.

Let’s summarize. … Uh … Well … It’s basically all about the Spice Girls (Melanie Chisholm as Sporty Spice, Victoria Beckham as Posh Spice, Emma Bunton as Baby Spice, Melanie Brown as Scary Spice, and Geri Halliwell as Ginger Spice) and how they love being famous and getting to write movies about how awesome and funny they are, but they’re also sad because they work all the time and they know an Asian person who’s having a baby (Naoko Mori). They go through a bunch of things to prepare for their big show, some guy irrationally decides he needs to destroy the cultural phenomenon known as the Spice Girls by getting a paparazzi to take pictures of them and have them be misconstrued, and there’s also a camera crew making a documentary about them. In the end, they are there for the birth of the tiny Asian person, they do their show, they make the paparazzi see the error of his ways by making him hit his head on a wall, and there’s also a camera crew making a documentary about them. That’s the movie. Fill some time with random scenes about Mark McKinney pitching TV show ideas starring the Spice Girls, fill it end to end with Spice Girls music, and call that movie Spice World.

What can one expect out of a movie about the Spice Girls? You expect to see 5 attractive ladies spout some nonsense about “Girl Power”, sing a bunch of songs, and have no real point. Congratulations, that’s what you get here. The story has as little point to it as the Spice Girls themselves. Obviously it’s going to be chock full of Spice Girls songs, so your feelings about those songs will inevitably influence your feelings about the movie itself. Personally, I accept the Spice Girls music for what it is. They’re pop songs. Catchy enough, their voices aren’t the worst thing ever, and they don’t mean very much. But they are catchy and not horrible. And, since the movie is mostly like a music video or a live concert video, you’ll have plenty of time to figure out how you feel about their music. The rest of the movie is definitely strange. The girls try to be funny but never really succeed, and causing me to smack myself in the forehead on more than one occasion. Their attempts end up being more adorable than anything else. It’s like when a child tells you a joke. It’s not funny and they probably didn’t tell the joke very well, but it’s cute that they tried. They also seemingly decided to add in dream sequences and imaginary situations of things they thought would be funny, but they were mostly strange and out of place. One of them was a TV pitch for a crime fighting show where each one had their own specialty, like Mistress of Disguise Ginger Spice that can walk into a phone booth and become Bob Hoskins. But there was truly no point to these little sketches and, since they weren’t funny, they kind of wasted my time. There were plenty of other things that were ridiculous in this movie. The girls traveled around in a bus that was about 4 times as big on the inside as it was on the outside.

The acting was … the Spice Girls. Even though they complained at one point about being typecast as their self-imposed titles, they did everything they could in their performances to exemplify them. On their illogical bus, they even had their own compartments that helped them stereotype themselves. Sporty spends most of her time on the bus on an elliptical machine, chases down enemies of the girls, and wears track suits and tank tops. Posh has a catwalk on the bus, is always dressed up and talking about clothes, and acts pretty snooty. Baby has a swing on the bus, can apparently get the Spice Girls out of trouble like large scale destruction with her innocence, and often talks about stuffed animals. Scary and Ginger didn’t have anything in particular on the bus, but Scary did like to make scary faces at the fish on the bus and Ginger had red drapes that I’m sure matches the carpet. I did spend most of the movie wondering why most people I remember hearing from thought Ginger was the best looking. In this movie, I never found her attractive. I wouldn’t kick her out of bed or anything, but she was the least attractive of the five. I’m a Sporty man, myself. Potential lesbianism be damned! Beyond them, this movie was ridiculous with cameos by far more talented people. Meat Loaf was their bus driver, Elvis Costello was a bartender, and Elton John showed up as someone that would be interested in 5 attractive women kissing him. I assume that, once you’re big and famous, you would only do a bit part in something you desired to support, so what were they doing here?

Beyond showing lots of scenes of 5 attractive women with attractive accents, this movie only serves to remind me of the world as it was back in 1998, when the world would accept a musical act just because the women were attractive, wore wacky outfits, had moderate singing abilities, and acted like what they were doing meant something more than making them a ton of money. And in a world with Katy Perry’s and Lady GaGa’s, we are far too intelligent to fall for that again. … Anyways, you don’t need to see this movie. You may laugh during the movie, but more “at” than “with”. Still, it’s not the worst thing you could sit through. I’ll give Spice World “Call Hootie and the Blowfish” out of “We need five for the power of Spice.”

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!