Movies I’m Weirdly Obsessed With: Spice World

You know what movie always passes the Bechdel test?  Spice World.

I was 11 when Spice World, the Spice Girls movie, came out. Of course I was obsessed with the Spice Girls. The movie, admittedly, is terrible. It would be so easy to just shit all over the movie, but the well worn VHS copy of the movie at my parents’ house, and the fact that it is a pretty self-aware movie, makes the whole movie a not-so-guilty pleasure.

A few years ago I watched this with a group of friends and someone fell asleep during it. He woke up and asked “Did I dream this or was there aliens, a haunted house and a bus jumping a bridge?”

Yes.

SpiceWorld-Aliens

Yes (sort of).

SpiceWorld-House

And Yes (again, sort of).

spiceworldbus

This is how the movie opened, just to get those sugar-high tween fans as insane and rabid as possible.

Eat your heart out, boy bands.
Suck it, boy bands.

The movie has a very loose plot following the girls as they prep for a huge globally broadcast concert. While this is not that impressive in an age of festivals being livestreamed and gif’d as they happen, in 1998, that is actually fairly impressive. There are also a lot of wandering segments and loosely connected subplots, designed to showcase the Spice Girls’ talents and mostly just capitalize off of their super fame.

There’s Nicola whose terrible boyfriend left her very late in her pregnancy, but that’s okay because the movie is about female relationships and so this single mom doing it for herself with the help of her lady besties, is really what girl power is about. On a less facetious note, it is actually really lovely to see a movie where the big climax is around the importance of female friendship. It is however, super weird for the girls to take their super pregnant friend to a club, knowing her due date was last week.

Naoko Mori (better know from Absolutely Fabulous or Torchwood) as Nicola
Naoko Mori (better known from Absolutely Fabulous or Torchwood) as Nicola

There are the ruthless paparazzi who are out to twist the stories about them, and subsequently destroy the Spice Girls.

There’s the recurring plot thread about the girls struggling to break out of their expected personas, even though they’re part of this elaborate pop music machine that won’t really allow them to, and they are pretty much like those personas anyway. Case in point, these are the bus rooms, because that’s a thing that exists:

SpiceWorld-BusBaby

SpiceWorld-BusGinger

SpiceWorld-BusPosh

SpiceWorld-BusScary

SpiceWorld-BusSporty

There’s also a subplot, where a Hollywood producer and screenwriter have been trying to pitch a movie to the Spice Girls’ manager, which is of course also used to neatly tie up all the very loose, nonsensical plot points.

SpiceWorld-Bomb
Even this bomb situation gets resolved.

But who cares about all of this when there are fantastic montages and dream sequences, like this one?

Or the time they imagined they were moms together living in an exceptionally large and crowded apartment?

SpiceWorld-Moms

Or this dance army training?

Or this movie in a movie?

SpiceWorld-Movie

Or the most scandalous twist ever?

There are also great cameos/cast members (Note: this is definitely missing quite a few of the cameos.):

SpiceWorld-RichardEGrant
Richard E. Grant as shiny-suited manager, Clifford.
SpiceWorld-ClaireRushbrook
Claire Rushbrook (who is amazing in My Mad Fat Diary, which why aren’t you watching that show?) as Deborah
SpiceWorld-RogerMoore
Roger Moore channeling his inner Bond villain as the shady music Chief. He says cryptic things like, “the drummer who is without sticks has no backbeat.”
SpiceWorld-Meatloaf
Meat Loaf as Dennis
SpiceWorld-AlanCumming
Alan Cumming as documentarian Piers
SpiceWorld-BobGeldof
Bob Geldof getting his hair done by Scary.
SpiceWorld-BobHoskins
Bob Hoskins is apparently Geri in disguise.
SpiceWorld-DominicWest
Dominic West is a photographer and is handsome.
SpiceWorld-EltonJohn
Elton John is overwhelmed by Spice Girls love.
SpiceWorld-HollywoodMovie
George Wendt (NORM!) and Mark McKinney are wondering if the paycheck is worth it.
SpiceWorld-HughLaurie
Hugh Laurie as Poirot. In Spice World.
SpiceWorld-JasonFlemyng
“That guy” Jason Flemyng as a tabloid reporter.
SpiceWorld-JenniferSaunders
Jennifer Saunders is a “fashionable lady” according to the Imdb cast list.

We can’t forget THE MUSIC:

To borrow a line from the movie that encapsulates the Spice World movie experience, “that was absolutely perfect, without being actually any good.”

 

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Karishma

Karishma is a twenty-something living in New York City and is trying her hardest to live out every cliche about Millennials. This involves eating her feelings, drowning in debt and mocking infomercials. She likes sociology so much that she has two degrees in it, and is still warding off her parents' questions about a real career.

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