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Spice World (1997).

March 25, 2011

The Scoop:
I’ve never really bought into the concept of guilty pleasures. If you like what you like, why worry about it? It’s OK for even the most serious person to wholeheartedly (and unironically) enjoy shallow, fluffy entertainment. It shouldn’t be all of one’s cultural diet, but it shouldn’t be hated either.

So it’s without any twinges of guilt that I say that I like the Spice Girls. Yes, they were shallow and silly and some of their songs were a little weak. And yes, they were a complete commercial fabrication that was driven by the music industry’s profit motive. But they were charming as hell and had enough well-crafted pop songs to be entertaining.

Their movie “Spice World” catches the group at its peak – before the inevitable bad albums and break up – and manages to translate their personal charm to the screen fairly well. The plot is pure fluff, involving some wacky road trip adventures and tabloid newspaper spying as the girls prepare for their big concert at the Royal Albert Hall. The script by Kim Fuller embraces the girls’ media-created personae (Baby, Scary, Sporty, Posh and Ginger) and all five of them have the screen presence to pull it off. And the supporting cast is crammed full of familiar faces – including Roger Moore, Richard E. Grant, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Meat Loaf, Mark McKinney, Alan Cumming and Jennifer Saunders – who keep things fun. The result is an entertaining twist on the old rock movies of the 1950s and 1960s.

Best Line:
“When the rabbit of chaos is pursued by the ferret of disorder through the fields of anarchy, it is time to hang your pants on the hook of darkness. Whether they’re clean or not.”

Side Note:
Washed-up ’70s pop star Gary Glitter was originally in the film, but his part was cut out after he was arrested on child pornography charges.

Companion Viewing:
“Help!” (1965) and “Josie and the Pussycats” (2000).


Take a Look:
The trailer:

Some boat-based shenanigans:

Montage time!

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