Volume 91, Issue 66

Tuesday, January 27, 1998



Sparkle, glitter and pop

©Alex Bailey
MASTURBATORY MATERIAL FOR KIDS. When these pop icons stop making money, they will buy a small country and shape it into a pair of funky looking shoes.

By Carey Weinberg

Gazette Staff

Spice is definitely the flavour of the month and the girls are well aware of it. The five women who make up the Spice Girls are at the apex of their pop lives and what better way to capitalize on their success than with a full-length motion picture.

The film is very cute and geared towards a younger audience. Watching this movie as an adult must be done with a grain of spice. Discussing the plot, however, would be an insult to the word 'plot'. Some of the dialogue is both excruciatingly painful and about as much fun as an O.J. Simpson colouring book.

Distasteful flavours aside, Spice World has some very funny moments, a plethora of cameos, a veritable cornucopia of costumes and a whole whack of energetic music. The film moves like a music video and it's eye candy at its best – sweet enough to give you an ocular cavity.

Roger Moore plays the best cameo character in a surreal James Bond spoof role. He plays the Spice Girls' manager's boss. He only appears in a room by himself when he is giving cryptic orders to the Spice Girls' manager. When on the phone, Moore is seen nursing a baby pig. It's odd bits like Moore's character that make this movie enjoyable.

The Spice Girls are an incredible pop phenomenon, but one of the problems associated with pop icons is their stay at the top is generally short-lived. There are many references to this fact in the movie – which is interesting because it indicates the Spices are fully cognizant of their short shelf life. They also display a sense of humour about themselves which is one of the film's strengths.

Dream sequences throughout the flick play out the Spices' fears and fantasies in such a way that even if you dislike the band the stories will make you laugh. Squeals from the kids in the theatre attest to the fact these women are doing something right.

There is enough sparkle to light their way to continued success and to light up young girls' faces. Something problematic in the Spice Girls' characters is how they've commercialized and commodified 'girl power'. The brand of feminism they package is disturbing in that they've combined cleavage with feminine power. Displaying big bouncing boobs does not a feminist make.

However, there is a strength to them and what they do which deserves further exploration. The Spice Girls have tapped into their feminine wildness and put it on display without worrying about criticism. Viewing them as a music group is not even half the story. What they do is brilliant. Above and beyond anything else – they are entertainers.

Spice World is a visual smorgasbord that will help propel the pop stars to the top for a little while longer.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1998