Spice World - 1/2*

Spice World

Talk about a movie that seemed dated before it even hit the theaters! Spiceworld is the feature film debut of the pre-fabricated pop band, The Spice Girls. It’s intended as a sort of Hard Day’s Night, but ends up simply hard to watch.

When watching the Spice Girls, I’m reminded of an old Saturday Morning Cartoon trick (such as from The Smurfs, The Snorks, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) in which identically animated creatures are differentiated into characters merely by one personality quirk and a different name. The Spice Girls are themselves as interchangable as Pringles, and about as talented.

There’s Ginger (Geri Halliwell), the brainy one, Sporty (Melanie Chisholm), the athletic one, Baby (Emma Bunton), the childish one, Posh (Victoria Adams), the fashion-conscious one, and Scary (Melanie Brown), the one with a tongue pierced back so far you’re almost certain the post sticks out her throat.

The film itself doesn’t really have a plot. It follows the girls as they travel here and there, culminating at their “first live performance” at Albert Hall. The action, however, seems more like a hodgepodge of mismatched ideas.

The various misfires include: an alien encounter, a fiendish tabloid editor scheming to wreck The Spice Girls, the shooting of a Spice Girls documentary, a movie producer (George Wendt) trying to pitch various ideas for a Spice Girls movie (nearly all of which, though incredibly far fetched, seem more plausible than the mess with which they ended up), a meeting with a pregnant friend (whose sole purpose seems to be to maintain the film maxim that all pregnant characters must give birth before the movie ends), a boating adventure, a bus race, club-hopping (wherein apparently no one notices the famous Spice Girls among the crowd…even when they start to sing), and an assorted number of musical performances, press conferences, and general all-around celebrity stuff. Whew.

For some reason, the film is littered with star cameos. From Elton John to Elvis Costello, from Bob Hoskins to Meat Loaf. Heck, even Roger Moore shows up, though he can’t decide if he’s parodying himself as James Bond, or if he’s lobbying to be the reincarnation of Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Richard E. Grant has the largest secondary part, a thankless role of the band’s manager, Clifford.

The celebrity spotting is partially amusing, and a decent way to pass the time when confronted with the rest of the film. Neither amusing or spontaneous, when the Spice Girls are between songs they are deadly boring. Their songs are alright, but they play like lifeless adaptations of the music videos.

My advice to fans is: stay home and watch that video collection, or at least spin that cd a couple of more times…either option will be more enjoyable than the film. Non-fans should know to stay well away from this one.

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