Awfully Good: Spice World + Glitter (Video)
Spice World (1997)
Director: Bob Spiers
Stars: The Spice Girls, Sad Actors
The Spice Girls do… something. I honestly don't know what this movie is about.
In 1997, the Spice Girls were at the height of their popularity around the world and, like many musical phenomenon before them, decided to test their success in the cinematic realm. Fortunately for this column, SPICE WORLD turned out to be less like The Beatles' A HARD DAYS NIGHT and more like The Monkees' HEAD. (Read our review here.) And by that, I mean somebody seriously had to be on some sort of substance when putting this movie together.
More believable than Gal Gadot?
Surely it was drugs, insanity or some sort of across-the-pond language barrier that led to this musical mess. It's not so much that SPICE WORLD doesn't make sense (it doesn't), it's that the powers-that-be clearly didn't even try. I would not be surprised if it was revealed that the Spice Girls, who actually get a writing credit here, made the entire thing up as they went along. That's the only explanation for all the random celebrity cameos shoehorned in despite no logical place for them in the story, as well as most of the nonsensical plot points. If I you asked me to describe what SPICE WORLD was actually about in a narrative sense, I would laugh in your face and kick you in the shins, because it's a trick question and you're being a total dick for making me think about it.
Quentin Tarantino should sue.
Possible things this movie is about:
- The Spice Girls having to overcome their collective issues to make it to the biggest show of their career
- An evil newspaper tycoon who hires a sneaky photographer to ruin the Spice Girls' reputation
- The Spice Girls remembering their roots so they can be godmothers to their Asian friend's unborn child
- A Hollywood producer and writer who want to build a Hollywood blockbuster around the Spice Girls
- The Spice Girls' manager's attempts to control their success while allowing them personal freedom as human beings
- A documentary filmmaker trying to capture the "real" Spice Girls
- The Spice Girls trying to be good role models while their dancers wear assless chaps
Assy Spice was no doubt a controversial addition to the group.
Even with all these terrible plots to juggle, SPICE WORLD still wastes the majority of its runtime on unnecessary dumb things of no consequence or interest to the audience. Aside from the obligatory musical numbers, you're also subjected to constant time-wasting montages (fashion shoots, dance parties, etc.) and random dream sequences, including Baby Spice committing murder in a CLUE ripoff, a "Charlie's Angels" parody called Spice Force Five, and a depressing vision of the future where all five girls are grumpy old housewives who hate their children. But you're not out of the woods yet! There's still all the garbage that doesn't even fit in to any of these categories. Things like a Scooby Doo haunted house sequence, a FULL METAL JACKET dance camp, and—my personal favorite—the part of the movie where the story stops for five minutes so the Spice Girls can encounter a group of alien visitors who stop by Earth to ask for autographs and tickets to their show. Also, these extraterrestrials look like miniature versions of Marv Albert.
This movie had a $25 million budget and those were the best aliens they could make.
Shockingly, the Spice Girls are not terrible actresses, especially Victoria Beckham, who plays Vapid Airhead Spice with actual comedic skill. You can tell everyone's intent was to make a lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek spin on life as a pop star and the fickle world consuming their brand, but SPICE WORLD is still too shallow and pointless for that to be effective. And the fact that each girl strictly adheres to their stock personas as Sporty, Posh, Baby, etc. in the real world, without any semblance of being actual human beings, doesn't do much to help break them out of their sex symbol pop status. (A scene where Ginger and Scary play chess somehow makes them seem even dumber.) In fact, the film opens with a musical number that clearly is meant to feel like a porno—with the ladies slowly gyrating in soft lighting—before it's revealed they're actually performing onstage in London, and not in some guy's bedroom in the San Fernando Valley
Yes, that is James Bond nursing a pig.
If the Spice Girls themselves don't come across particularly well, the rest of the bizarre cast of famous faces definitely don't fare any better. There are the random cameos—Elton John, Elvis Costello, Hugh Laurie, Dominic West, and Bob Hoskins (as Ginger Spice)—but I feel bad for the actors who had actual roles in this. Alan Cumming (who also starred in the similar, better JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS) is a complete non-entity as the documentary director. Cheers' George Wendt and Kids in the Hall vet Mark McKinney both seem equally embarrassed as the Hollywood producer and writer trying to pitch ideas for future Spice Girl movies. But Former James Bond himself Roger Moore gets perhaps the weirdest role in the entire picture as the head of the record label, spending his screentime speaking entirely in riddles and nursing his pet pig.
Oh wait, I forgot about Meat Loaf, who ruins his career by playing the Spice Girls' bus driver and quoting his famed song "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" in reference to plunging their shit out of the toilet.
I know John Lennon once said The Beatles were bigger than Jesus, but the Catholic Church's choice for the next pope was ridiculous.
Probably the only truly relevant part of SPICE WORLD is (yet another) dream sequence in which famed British comedian Stephen Fry plays a judge who sentences the Spice Girls to a depressingly accurate future of obscurity and unsuccessful attempts at maintaining fame for the next 20 years. And thankfully we still have a few years left on that sentence.
From Bob Hoskins' Ginger Spice to Roger Moore's pet pig, some of the most truly embarrassing celebrity moments in this movie.
Ginger Spice's boobs, assless chaps, toilet horror, alien invasions and more—all things you expect in a movie about the Spice Girls.
Some spicy cleavage.
Take a shot or drink every time:
- There's a random celebrity cameo
- Roger Moore says something weird
- Posh Spice says something stupid
- The manager yells
- Someone talks about manta rays
- The photographer emerges from something
Double shot if:
- You have to listen to the Spice Girls sing
Don't put away your singing pipes just yet! We've got one more Awfully Good for you to dive into, this time from ol' Mimi herself, Mariah Carey, in the instant classic GLITTER! Well, instant classic bomb anyway. Join host Jesse Shade as he takes us through her hilarious sparkly journey to become a succesful singer in yet another rags-to-riches music flick. Enjoy!
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