Reviewed by: Brian Nigro
|Featuring:||Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm, Geraldine Halliwell, Victoria Adams, Kevin Allen, Devon Anderson, Michael Barrymore, Richard Briers, Simon Chandler, Elvis Costello, Alan Cumming, The Dream Boys, David Fahm, Jason Flemyng, Neil Fox, Stephen Fry, Bob Geldof, Llewella Gideon, Guy Gowan, Richard E. Grant, Jools Holland, Bob Hoskins, Barry Humphries, Elton John, Craig Kelly, Hugh Laurie, Meat Loaf, Mark McKinney, Marian McLoughlin, Kevin McNally, Roger Moore, Naoko Mori, Neil Mullarkey, Richard O'Brien, Steven O'Donnell, Bill Paterson, Jonathan Ross, Claire Rushbrook, Jennifer Saunders, Simon Shepherd, Cathy Shipton, Peter Sissons, Denise Stephenson, Perdita Weeks, George Wendt, Dominic West, Simon Ellis, Andy Gangadeen, Paul Gendler, Fergus Gerrand, Steve Lewinson, Michael Martin, Hugh Cecil, Amanda Connors, Daisy Donovan, Leila Reid, Jessica Summers|
|Producer:||Columbia Pictures Corporation, Spice Productions, Fragile Films, Icon Entertainment International, Polygram Filmed Entertainment, Uri Fruchtmann, Kim Fuller, Simon Fuller, Peter McAleese, Dione Orrom, Mark L. Rosen, Barnaby Thompson|
“They perform for royalty and entertain millions the world over. But now, they’re making a movie.”
Certainly, impressionable young children could pick worse role models than Ginger, Baby, Posh, Sporty or Scary. (Post-1980’s Madonna, for starters.) Yet, despite the deluge of dumbed-down “family movies” foisted upon unsuspecting kids, “Spiceworld” is unnecessarily savvy and sophisticated. Too savvy, unfortunately, for its own good—too much style, not enough substance.
“Spiceworld”, which was already released overseas, is basically an extended music video that could have skipped theatres and gone straight to home video. If what you want, what you really, really want, is to hear “Wannabe” for the hundredth time, this movie won’t disappoint. Neither do any of the Spice Girls expand their image beyond what everyone knows—on top of the world one moment, then discarded for the next big thing. What you see is what you get, and that’s it.
Anglophiles will undoubtedly cry foul at the wishy-washy effort of Bob Spiers, who previously directed the BBC’s “Absolutely Fabulous.” Yes, the Spice Girls drive around in a double-decker bus painted with a British flag; and yes, what they wear exudes their civic pride. Spiers even peppers the cast with Roger Moore, character actor Richard E. Grant, singer Elvis Costello, and a few others prominent Brits. “Spiceworld” would have been truly enjoyable if the movie stayed in England.
What, then, accounts for the trainwreck of a plot involving George Wendt from “Cheers” and Mark McKinney, formerly of “Saturday Night Live”? Nobody cares about the inane movie producer and his scriptwriting buddy chasing after the Spice Girls, who have barely five minutes of screen time as it is. Truly a distraction.
“Spiceworld” is rated PG for mild sexual innuendo, including brief rear nudity, and a childbirth scene (nothing shown). There’s also a joke about the Pope, which some Christians may find offensive. There is virtually no profanity whatsoever (except for a rare “bum” and “bloody”) and no adult content. Forgettable but potentially enjoyable for the aforementioned right audiences.
ALTERNATE RECOMMENDATION: The Beatles' “A Hard Day’s Night,” which is 100% British, no sleaze, and essentially the blueprint for “Spice World.”
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.