The current lack of movies starring whole music groups as themselves is either a sign that today's bands take themselves too seriously or that they just aren't popular enough to carry a feature film at the box office. Perhaps the combination of MTV and music video DVDs has diluted a demand for the musical sub-genre, but I for one have an enormous weak spot for rock films of any kind, and the most tender area of that spot is for movies like Spice World.

This campy throwaway picture from 1998, featuring the British girl-group The Spice Girls a few minutes past their peak, came from a tradition that has its roots in the earliest of movie musicals, became more interesting with the arrival of rock and roll, and seems to have always been more prevalent with artists from the UK. The most obvious influence on films of this sort, of course, was The Beatles.  Elvis may have done a lot of movies for no better reason than to serve as vehicles for his music, but he never did play himself. No, it was A Hard Day's Night that did it (the band's name is never mentioned in the film, but the Fab Four do go by their own individual names), and it remains the most familiar, the most popular, and the most critically acclaimed of all of its kind. The Beatles went on to make a few other films, and Help! was also well-regarded, but nothing since has had the same prestige as the original.

categories Features, Cinematical