SPICE WORLD (1998)

Netflixers, rejoice… the Spice Girls will forever be around with just a touch of your remote.  Or at least until Sony decides to pull it from the queue.

I’ll admit something to you. I had never seen this movie. It just never happened.

I remember the Spice Girls, as we all do. As much as I downplayed their style, I secretly admired it and wished I could wad my Irish frizzy hair into kicky hornbuns. And secretly, I hummed those songs and stole my friend’s boyfriend’s copy of their first album and didn’t give it back until months and months later. But that’s another story for another blog (tentatively titled Things I Liked Born Out of Practical Jokes)

Here’s what I discovered from watching this movie. You don’t need a plot – just lots of ideas strung together, complete with the Spice Girls in different outfits in every scene.  This makes a difference in some movies. This was the one movie where I didn’t mind it.

 

Possibly because this movie was based on an idea and they just ran with it.  The movie told me so.

 

 

The only purpose I had for posting this picture is because it made Victoria Beckham look like even more of an alien than she already does.

Here’s what this movie truly excels at – showing us a disproportionately huge living area that’s bigger than my apartment — inside a double decker bus.

There’s a living room that comfortably sits every you know and possibly ever met….

Also a swing set and room for any size platform you’d want on your shoes.

Maybe on the buses you grew up with, they had one of those pesky “No horseplay” rules. Not for the Spice Girls. When designing the bus they stayed on the concept of horseplay and just built up from there.

There’s also a minor subplot about a documentary crew trying to find the essence of what makes the Spice Girls the Spice Girls. Frankly, he could have saved himself a lot of time and trouble just by watching ABBA: The Movie (those in the know can tell you that that had the exact same plot).

Unrelated, but the chairs are pretty awesome.

And lest you think the Spice Girls are too self involved, here they are rousing a teenage boy from a coma.

The other thing this movie has? Cameos. Spades of cameos from famous British people.

Like Bob Geldof!

And Elton John!

Stephen Fry! He condemns them to a lifetime of reality shows and non charting singles (strangely

Dr. House!

Jennifer Saunders!

Meatloaf!

NORM!!

The distinctive thing about the Spice Girls is not only their fierce girl power cry but they truly want equal rights for everyone.  So when they notice that their backup dancers aren’t wearing enough, they make a stand….

Remember kids. Speak out for what’s right. Sometimes The Man tries to fix it for you.

Sometimes.

That being said, I am fully onboard with the fashion but have minor qualms about this weird astronaut jacket that Scary Spice wears during rehearsals.

…not to mention the color vomited sheets she put on to do their weird WWII bootcamp class.

I’m calling this out though – women dressing and acting like children. Its creepy and I just don’t get it.

Maybe you’re asking yourself, “Hey Netflix subscriber! I’ve never seen this movie. You haven’t said what its about!”

Gentle movie watcher – know this when I say, it doesn’t matter. You will sit through 90 minutes of heavily made up mugging, women playing dress up and things like aliens showing up for their autograph and you will realize….

It doesn’t matter. Seriously.

And they have no problem taunting you with movies that did have actual plots.

In case you missed it…the Spice Girls were visited by aliens. They got an autograph and left.

Now back to our “story”…

SERIOUS FACE – we are ACTING…

Sometimes the movie makes a quick detour into another possible movie and then we get back to what we do best…

…which is pondering whatever question the movie gets ready to pose.

At that point in the movie, a man broke into their stately manor through the toilet. Maybe an homage to Trainspotting?

And Roger Moore plotted their demise. But will they make it to the big show in time?

Its iffy, especially with so much zaniness.

There was a bomb on the bus. It was kind of a high tension moment.

And their untalented friend who tags along, had a baby. They helped and it was a girl, ensuring that their brand of girl power extends among the generations. In case you’re wondering, the baby was not a famous baby cameo.

They make it to the show and sing “Spice Up Your Life”, which is ironic because THEY JUST DID.

Even more ironic…

We weren’t watching a movie, we were watching the brainstorming session between the Spice Girls’ manager, a big time Hollywood guy and a screenwriter. TWIST.

Sadly, very realistic to most pitch meetings.

We’re left with the Spice Girls peering into our souls and asking the important question of “Who’s really watching us? Who is truly entertained?” and “Will Ginger Spice ever wear actual pants?”

All in all, I totally recommend. I’ll warn you though…

The book is way better than the movie.

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MAID TO ORDER (1987)

You guys…YOU GUYS.

This movie is not to be confused with Maid in Manhattan or any of number of maid themed porn videos that can be found online.  This is also not the American answer to Downton Abbey.

I had totally forgotten this slice of ’80s heaven  until it found me. So I sat down, took it in and was immediately whisked away to a magical place called 1987 where I drank apple juice, ate tuna fish sandwiches and watched this movie when I was done practicing my violin. There might have been a My Little Pony sitting next to me at the time, I don’t know.

The question is, how has this movie held up now that almost 30 years have gone by?

The plot for those of you who never saw it is that Ally Sheedy, years after her stint in breakfast clubs and St. Elmo’s Fires (possibly around the same time as Short Circuit) plays a spoiled rich girl who is about to get un-Cinderellafied, thanks to a fairy godmother who comes in the form of the mom from the Vacation movies. So she becomes a maid and learns important life lessons like how to treat other maids and how to hit on hunky chauffers with budding music careers.

Behold, the most ’80s title cards you will ever see…

I need to point out first and foremost that the fashion in this movie is AMAZING. True, there will never be an occasion to wear a top hat with a giant tulle bow in the back, but this movie gives you hope that maybe someday there will be. Also, this movie would like to hit you over the head with the Cinderella metaphor.

My impression of a cool sort of adulthood was doing exactly this.  I’m sorry to report that this movie lied to me and I have never gotten to do this while wearing that.

Behold another still from the adulthood I’ll never have -looking chic in a ragged ballgown and sunglasses, sitting on the street.

Ally Sheedy doesn’t deserve the life a princess because she asks her father for money and questions charities. I think we’ve all been there.

Enter the fairy godmother – she smokes and in all honesty, is pretty awesome.

Our heroine goes on her first job interview in the best outfit ever (see torn ballgown from above) and is promptly hired to be a maid based on the fact she’s never worked before and that she’s white. She also eats the interviewer’s donuts. This is another lie this movie perpetrates about adulthood – although I’ve never tried any of these tactics while job hunting.

 The story posits that because our heroine is rich and has never had a job, she doesn’t know what hair plugs or that you shouldn’t point at people’s bandages and ask what happened. 

Once again, a classic movie trope – the sassy black friend!

“She’s white and therefore I have no faith in her as a maid.  Also, I’m a cook and not a  singer. Not that you asked.”

I don’t care how much life experience you have – ironing Spandex is difficult. It should also be said that leopard print ones should never been allowed in the first place.

The other maid hates her – she’s also sassy but in a non sassy black friend sort of way.

Behold the best part of this movie. THESE TWO. Honestly, they should have been given their own movie. Or a show. I spent this movie wanting to spend more time with them

Our heroine spends her day off wearing a Prince shirt, high waisted jeans and going through her coworkers stuff.. I’d criticize her, but I think we’ve all been there.

She learns how to ride a bus – I think this was the low point in her character arc.

“Girl, I am a cook and not a singer, so stop bugging me to sing for you.  Don’t make me sing, because I’ll do it….”

 “Look, I’m just a poor chauffer that’s actually a talented songwriter who no one will give a chance.  Also, you’re the only available girl here so we’re going to start up an obligatory relationship despite a differences in background. Wanna go eat Mexican food in a seedy, non health regulated restaurant?”

 Seriously, these two should have their own movie.  SOMETHING.

 “Well, you earned minimum wage and made friends with people from a lower tax bracket than you. I’d say you learned your lesson and get your old life back. I hope the lesson sticks because I’d hate to put you somewhere where you’re actually surrounded by a lower class.”

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