Why Spice World Is Truly The Greatest Film Of All Time

Today may be 25 years since Wannabe, but one writer thinks that 1997's Spice World is actually the band's most iconic work.

Spice World

by Guy Pewsey |
Updated on

25 years ago, the world changed forever when a new girlband named The Spice Girls cantered onto the global stage with their debut single, Wannabe. I don't think I'm being hyperbolic when I say that they changed the world. These five young women - Geri, Emma, Victoria, Mel B and Mel C - altered the way Britain was seen on the global stage. They changed feminism. They altered the course of pop music. They revolutionised the concept of merchandise and brand affiliations. And, above all, they made the greatest film of all time.

I'm not joking. Spice World is the greatest film of all time. I don't want to hear about Citizen Kane. Vertigo can go to hell. I don't give a damn about Gone With The Wind. This 1997 caper, a fictionalised depiction of the behind-the-scenes lives of the biggest British band since The Beatles, is a genuinely riotous watch that is worthy of far greater acclaim than it received and continues to receive. Yes, some acknowledge its enjoyable camp status. But it was, largely, critically slaughtered and received seven Golden Raspberry nominations including 'Worst Screen Couple' for 'any combination of two people, body parts or fashion accessories.' So why is it worth your attention almost quarter of a century later? I'll talk you through it.

In case you've forgotten, because I refuse to believe that you haven't seen it, Spice World sees the band struggle with the trappings of fame. As they announce a major concert at the Royal Albert Hall, their pregnant friend Nicola begins to feel neglected while their overbearing manager sends them on a never-ending carousel of media appearances and appointments. As they fail to fend off a malevolent media campaign and ponder discussions of a film adaptation of their lives - meta, hey? - they must remind themselves of what they have always known: despite all the drama and the glitz, it is friendship that never ends. I'm not crying, you are.

spice world
©spice world

But if that's not enough to convince you, here is the definitive explanation of what makes Spice World so special.

It has the greatest cast of all time

I'm going to say this again and again: I am not joking.

Aside from the obvious star power of the five Spice Girls themselves, the film boasts a cast that rivals that of Love Actually or Mamma Mia. You've got Richard E. Grant. You've got Meat Loaf. You've got Roger Moore. You've got Jennifer Saunders. Sir Elton John. Stephen Fry. Hugh Laurie. Barry Humphries. Alan Cumming. Dominic West.

Did I say I was finished? Add Bob fucking Geldof. Bob fucking Hoskins. Duffy from Casualty. Norm from Cheers. Glenn from Superstore. Toshiko from Torchwood. It's a cast list written during a magic mushroom trip. And yes, it had Gary Glitter in it too until they cut his scene following obvious controversies. It was too late to remove the double page photo of him with the band in the tie-in sticker book, though. My mum wasn't thrilled with that.

Victoria really got to shine

A lot of people seem to retroactively state that Victoria was always their favourite Spice Girl, but they are lying: she was categorically the least interesting member of the band until the film's premiere. That's when she really stepped forward and her personality and comedic timing were made clear for all to see.

'Bloody Sunday drivers!' she exclaims as she hurtles toward the Royal Albert Hall behind the wheel of the Union Jack double decker. 'It's only Saturday!'

Her withering 'this dress is dry clean only, Melanie' is iconic. Her camouflage ensemble when the other girls wear full army gear is genius. But her greatest moment? It comes when the girls are in the hospital waiting for Nicola to give birth, and three of them are asked to rouse a young boy from a coma. Her delivery of 'And I'm Victoria, Malcolm!' is the greatest one liner in cinematic history. Casablanca? Never seen it. Don't know what you're talking about.

The special effects are without rival

The aliens! The Spice Force Five! And, of course, the bus chase, where the band are on the roof for absolutely no reason before they get back inside ahead of an epic jump across Tower Bridge. True story: Peter Jackson was inspired to make Lord of the Rings after seeing Spice World, telling The Hollywood Reporter that it showed him what cinema was truly capable of.*

*OK, I concede that this claim is actually a lie

The fashion is astounding

There are some genuinely historic looks in the film, including but not limited to:

Mel B's astronaut jacket.

The silver PVC worn by the Spice Force Five.

The block colour bathrobes.

Victoria's final performance leopard print number.

Emma's pink US flag jumper.

Every single look in the photoshoot montage.

The aforementioned camouflage ensembles.

Geri's feathery black dress.

Geri's red halter-neck dress that is actually a swimsuit: very, very ahead of her time, was Geri.

Geri's tan suede fringe top.

Geri. Geri. Geri. In everything.

Need I say more? No. Only a fool could fail to join me in proclaiming Spice World as the greatest film of all time. I can only assume that next year - the 25 year anniversary of its release - will see it receive a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award as an apology for the egregious crime of it originally losing out to Titanic. Cough up James Cameron.

READ MORE: 25 Years Since Wannabe, This Is Why Girl Power Still Matters

READ MORE: A Nostalgic Journey Into The Amazing World Of Spice Girls Merchandise

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