Do You Remember? #76: Spice World

Remember last month, when I actually gave praise to the Spice Girls for their music. Well, for those of you who are still pissed at me, here’s your redemption. Today, I’m talking about their 1998 shitfest of a movie called Spice World:

A sparkling Union Jack flag with four women standing in front and a red haired woman crouched down in front

Oh good god, this trailer perfectly sums up everything that is wrong with this terrible atrocity. All right, let’s talk about this:

Spice World is a 1997 British musical comedy film directed by Bob Spiers and written by Kim Fuller and Jamie Curtis. The film stars pop girl group the Spice Girls who all play themselves. The lighthearted comedy — made in a similar vein to The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night (1964) — depicts a series of fictional events leading up to a major concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall, liberally interspersed with dream sequences and flashbacks as well as surreal moments and humorous asides.

This is the second feature-length film directed by Spiers, following That Darn Cat (1997). The film features Richard E. Grant, Claire Rushbrook, Naoko Mori, Meat Loaf, Barry Humphries, and Alan Cumming in supporting roles. Filming took place in London, England for six of the eight filming weeks and also inside Twickenham Studios, as well as at over 40 famous British landmarks. Shooting featured several fourteen-hour shooting sessions and a constant, heavy media presence due to the Spice Girls’ large popularity at the time.

The film premiered on 15 December 1997 and was released in British cinemas on the British holiday Boxing Day (26 December). In North America, the film was distributed by Columbia Pictures, PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, and Icon Entertainment International and premiered on 23 January 1998. In the United States, Spice World became a box office hit and broke the record for the highest-ever weekend debut for Super Bowl Weekend with box office sales of $10,527,222. The film grossed $77 million at the box office worldwide and over $100 million including DVD sales. Despite being a box office success, the film received primarily negative reviews.

THIS SHIT HAS NO PLOT WHATSOEVER!!!! No, I’m not even kidding, there is not a thread of a plot whatsoever, it’s just interspersed events pushed into a movie that you could tell was just quickly rushed out there to cash in on the zeitgeist of the Spice Girls’ success. I would not be surprised at all if this movie was shot over a week because I refuse to believe there was a script, somebody just went to the Spice Girls and said “hey, just do whatever you want and we’ll put in a movie. Improvise.” This movie is asking singers who have had no acting credibility before this movie to improvise and what we have is the pile of junk we have here.

You want me to further go into how atrocious this shit is….why can’t you just accept how bad it is and move on? No, all right, let’s run down the plot:

The film begins with the Spice Girls performing “Too Much” on Top of the Pops, but they become dissatisfied with the burdens of fame and fortune. Also, hi pointless Elton John cameo.

Meanwhile, sinister newspaper owner Kevin McMaxford (Barry Humphries) is attempting to ruin the girls’ reputation for his newspaper’s ratings.

Ratings……yeah, newspapers don’t have ratings. This movie is so stupid, it doesn’t even know how a newspaper works.

McMaxford dispatches photographer Damien (Richard O’Brien) to take pictures and tape recordings of the girls.

But not only that, for no reason, whatsoever, they are in the bad guy’s office and it just starts raining and storming in the office….I’m not kidding, just for no reason at all, it starts raining for no reason whatsoever. But wait, we’ve only reached the beginnings of how stupid this movie gets.

Less threatening but more annoying is Piers Cuthbertson-Smyth (Alan Cumming), who stalks the girls along with his camera crew, hoping to use them as subjects for his next project. At the same time, the girls’ uptight manager, Clifford (Richard E. Grant) and his sympathetic assistant Deborah (Claire Rushbrook), are fending off two over-eager Hollywood writers, Martin Barnfield and Graydon (George Wendt and Mark McKinney), who relentlessly pitch absurd plot ideas for a feature film for the Spice Girls.

You see what I’m talking about here? None of this shit makes any sense. They literally went to any available actor that was not doing anything at the time and said, “hey, we need you to do this 2 minute bit in our movie with no script and we’ll give you millions of dollars for it, will you do it?” A.K.A. The Richard Gere Movie 43 Excuse. But wait, it gets stupid.

Amid this, the girls must prepare for their live concert at the Royal Albert Hall in three days, the biggest performance of their career. At the heart of it, the constant practices, traveling, publicity appearances, and other burdens of celebrity affect the girls on a personal level, preventing them from spending much time with their pregnant best friend, Nicola (Naoko Mori), who is due to give birth soon. Throughout the busy schedule, the girls attempt to ask Clifford for time off to spend with Nicola and relax, but Clifford refuses after talking with the head of the girls’ record label, the cryptic and eccentric “Chief” (Roger Moore). The stress and overwork compound, which culminate in a huge argument between Clifford and the girls. The girls suddenly storm out on the evening before their gig at the Albert Hall.

Wow, I could give two shits about all the stuff in that paragraph let alone the fact that I had to watch this again solely to have that be yet another subplot that goes absolutely nowhere. But wait, it gets stupider.

The girls separately think back on their humble beginnings and their struggle to the top. They reunite by chance outside the now-abandoned café where they practiced during their childhood years, they reconcile, and decide to take Nicola out dancing. However, Nicola goes into labor at the nightclub and is rushed to the hospital in the girls’ bus, giving birth to a healthy baby girl. When Emma notices that the delivery “doctor” has a camera, the girls realize that he is Damien, who runs off with the girls in hot pursuit, only to hit his head after accidentally colliding with an empty stretcher. When Damien sees the girls standing over him, he tells them that they have made him see the error of his ways, and he goes after McMaxford, who is subsequently fired in a “Jacuzzi scandal”.

WHAT???? That started with reconciling with their pregnant friend and then she goes into labor and they go to the hospital. And then it ends with the bad guy, hitting his head and then basically going “oh, I’m a good guy now” with NO change shown whatsoever and then the main bad guy gets fired and it’s like, WHAT IS THE POINT OF ANY OF THIS???? But wait, it’s gets even stupider.

After noticing the girls’ bus driver, Dennis (Meat Loaf) is missing, Victoria decides to take the wheel. It becomes a race against time as Victoria drives like a maniac through London. While approaching Tower Bridge, the bridge begins to raise to let a boat through the River Thames. Victoria drives up the bridge and over the gap. The bus finally lands safely on the other side, but when Emma opens a trapdoor in the floor, she discovers a bomb, and the girls scream before Emma slams the trapdoor shut again.

Again, starting with one setup and then ending with another random scene that has no connection to how the other scene played out. This movie has no sense of consistency, plot development, or hell, a plot to work with. But wait….it’s gets EVEN FRIGGIN’ STUPIDER:

The girls finally arrive at the Royal Albert Hall for their performance and run up the steps. However, the girls have one more obstacle to overcome: a London policeman (Kevin McNally) charged the girls with: “dangerous driving, criminal damage, flying a bus without a license, and frightening the pigeons”. Emma pushes forward and tells the policeman that she and the other girls were late for their performance at the Albert Hall.

That’s right, a random cop who shows up out of nowhere and was never shown in the film at any point is now the one obstacle to stopping the Spice Girls from getting to Royal Albert Hall. BUT WAIT!!!!! Here’s more stupidity:

Emma smiles at the policeman, and he lets the girls off for their performance.

Thanks for the non-fucking-conflict.

The film ends when the girls perform their song “Spice Up Your Life” at the start of their Royal Albert Hall concert broadcast live on television around the world.

The supporting cast later talk about the girls’ film during the closing credits. Mel C breaks the fourth wall and tells the other girls that the outgoing audience is watching them. The girls talk to the audience, commenting on “those two in the back row snogging” and on one’s dress, and discuss their film, just minutes before the bomb in their bus explodes.

WOW, all I can say about this movie is WOW, you actually managed to make this so goddamn awful that you’re making From Justin To Kelly look good by comparison. Oh wait a minute, THIS WAS WRITTEN BY THE SAME PERSON WHO WROTE FROM JUSTIN TO KELLY!!!! Yeah, I’m not even joking, this is written by the exact same person who wrote From Justin To Kelly, another movie trying to cash in on the success of somebody else’s newly found fame and guess what, THAT FUCKING SUCKED TOO!!!

Spice World does not work because it’s got nothing, all it has is the Spice Girls and that’s it. There is no plot, there is no story, there is no conflict, there is no comedy, there is no drama, there is no heart, this is a joke, this is a cruel, sick, disgusting excuse for a cashgrab. This was made by a studio whose only real intention for this is to just to cash in on the success the Spice Girls were having. You could not convince me whatsoever that this had no script to work with. This is just a god-awful movie.

In fact, I think the perfect reaction to how shitty this movie is should come from the ladies themselves in the opening of the international teaser for this, ladies:

Yeah, that perfectly sums this movie up nicely. Fuck this god-awful mess of a movie.

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Posted in Do You Remember?

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