Picks and Pans Review: Spice World

updated 02/02/1998 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/02/1998 01:00AM

The Spice Girls, Richard E. Grant

I was at a loss last fall when a 7-year-old girl solemnly demanded, "Who is your favorite Spice Girl?" Geez, I couldn't name a single Spice, much less pick a favorite.

Now I can name each Spice in the Spice Girls rack. This pop group's first CD, Spice, sold 19 million-plus copies, and now their latest album, Spiceworld, supports their fatuous first flick by the same name. In answer to my little pal: Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell) is my fave. A buxom ginger blonde (hence the name), she looks as if she's musing on the punch line to life's cosmic joke. Ginger is, if you will, the John Lennon of the Spice Girls.

Not that anyone would confuse the commercially pre-packaged Spice Girls with the Beatles, nor the quintet's debut film with the Fab Four's prodigiously entertaining and inventive maiden effort, A Hard Day's Night (1964). The Spice Girls—besides Ginger, there's Scary (Melanie Brown), Baby (Emma Bunton), Sporty (Melanie Chisholm) and Posh (Victoria Adams)—spend the movie warbling peppy songs and shouting "girl power," modeling garish garb and zipping about London in a double-decker bus. But for all its cheerful dumbness, World should please their mostly prepubescent girl fans, if only because the Spices are in nearly every scene. (PG)

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