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STUDIO: Shout Factory
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 78 min
- Additional home movie and rehearsal footage from 1994
It’s archival footage of The Spice Girls
Director: Neil Davies
Cast: Scary Spice, Baby Spice, Sporty Spice, Ginger Spice, Posh Spice, Chris Herbert
This documentary argues it was not a pact with the devil that created The Spice Girls.
Once upon a time there was a girl band that popped onto the scene to compete with the master’s of bubblegum pop. At the time this band of girls premiered, their number one competitors were The Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync. 23-years old producer Chris Herbert made the decision there should be a band full of bubbly, energetic girls to reach a new demographic. The rest of their story is history.
There is a legion of twenty-something girls who grew up idolizing The Spice Girls and this documentary was made for them. It is a rough, home video looking, look at the greatest bubble gum pop girl band of all time.
The documentary starts with producer Chris Herbert talking about the beginnings of the band. He placed an advertisement, a casting call for a band, in the papers. At the first audition, three of the stars were found. Mel B (Scary) was the first girl hired, and the person Herbert calls the obvious star of the band. Mel C (Sporty) was the second girl brought onboard because of her strong vocals. With the hiring of the third member, Victoria (Posh), Chris proved what direction the band was really going, as he never spoke about any talents she had save the fact she was very good looking and sophisticated. It was an obvious case of style over substance. He mentioned that substance could really overshadow a lack of talent, which holds true today.
The last two members brought aboard were Geri (Ginger) and Emma (Baby). The feature then moves onto the development of the band. The girls were housed together to help them bond. A voice coach was brought in and the girls were taught to sing and dance. Geri and Mel B eventually proved to be the dominant forces, and spokespeople in the band.
Geri also proved to be the combustible force in the group. While she was called the least talented, both the worst singer and dancer in the group, she remained the most energetic and hungriest for fame. When Chris finally got the girls a chance to play for music executives, he was betrayed. Geri went to one of the producers and said she wanted to change managers, betraying the man who built and developed the band.
The documentary is very short and ends at the point where the band leaves Chris for new management. Nothing is said about the tactics they used for their betrayal, and the feature is left as an honest, but slight, look at the band. Nothing is said about their rise to fame, save their first number one hit. This is only a look at their beginnings. All the girls come across and enthusiastic and inspired, but their bad points are kept saccharine as the true fights and arguments are glossed over in a “girls will be girls” manner. Even Chris’ response to what happened is neutral, only saying he would no longer allow a band to go without a contract for as long as he allowed these girls to.
If you are a fan of The Spice Girls, you might enjoy this DVD. As a documentary, it is about the same level as a feature on Entertainment Tonight or VH1. Even the biggest Spice Girls fan will find this lacking.
The DVD comes in full screen. There is extra rehearsal footage and behind the scenes footage as well.
4.1 out of 10