SPICE UP YOUR LIFE
The 90s gave the world a lot of amazing things – snap bracelets, butterfly clips, Tamagotchis, Boy Meets World… One of the 90s’ best contributions to the world was the Spice Girls. And, in 1997, preteen girls worldwide rejoiced because Spice World came out. As the Spice Girls will go down as one of the best musical groups of all time, Spice World will be remembered as one of the most horrific, most enjoyable movies ever made.
I love Spice World because it reminds me of my youth during the years of Spice Girls cassette tapes and lollipops with stickers inside. But you didn’t have to live through the Spice Girls phenomenon to find this movie hilarious. It is a ridiculous mixture of cheesy lines, terrible acting and ludicrous situations. The film follows the real life Spice Girls – Sporty, Ginger, Posh, Baby, and Scary – as they prepare for their first mega concert. Meanwhile, they are also being filmed by a documentary filmmaker (The Good Wife/X-Men 2/Cabaret’s Alan Cumming), stalked by a tabloid journalist, and pitched for a Hollywood film by LA bigwigs (including Cheers’ George Wendt).
As they travel the country in every 1997 girl’s dream tour bus, the Spice Girls spout Girl Power slogans and address the stereotypes that have been placed on them, whilst enforcing those stereotypes. In a photo shoot scene, the girls dress up as iconic personalities, famous movie characters, and best of all, each other. The film is full of fantastical daydream sequences like this, including acting out the plot of a would-be spy thriller centered around the “Spice Force Five,” and a flash forward ten years to when they are all haggard mothers, with Baby pregnant with her sixth baby, and Posh having sent the Little Beckhams to boarding school. Another sequence, which is not presented as a day-dream, entails that girls going to the woods to pee and bumping into a group of aliens who have come to Earth for their big concert, but settle for autographs and a kiss from Ginger. The film concludes with a high-speed ride through the streets of London as the girls try to get their concert on time, during which Posh jumps a rising bridge and the limits of horrible special effects are tested. These are just examples of the best scenes that break up stretches of tongue-in-cheek humor.
The film is over the top (much with the Spice Girls themselves) and makes fun of itself as much as its audiences do. What is most funny is the support that the film clearly had from other members of the entertainment community, judging by the number of famous faces that appear in the movie. The Spice Girls’ band is managed by acclaimed British actor Richard E. Grant; their bus is driven by Meat Loaf. Other famous cameos include Bob Hoskins and Dominic West (who you’ll remember from Hook and The Wire respectively), Elvis Costello, Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, and Elton John.
I don’t see how you could resist running out to find Spice World after this, but if you aren’t convinced yet, remember that Spice World is filled with great Spice Girl songs and 90s awesome-ness, which I personally, have missed a lot.
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