Weekend Review – “Josie and the Pussycats”

Here’s a somewhat off the wall choice for our latest Weekend Review.

Cast and Crew Information

Rachael Leigh Cook as Josie McCoy
Tara Reid as Melody Valentine
Rosario Dawson as Valerie Brown
Alan Cumming as Wyatt Frame
Parker Posey as Fiona
Gabriel Mann as Alan M
Tom Butler as Agent Kelly

Alex Martin, Seth Green, Breckin Meyer and Donald Faison as Du Jour

Written and directed by Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan

Availability Information

Available on DVD in PG and PG-13 versions with identical running times. This review is of the PG-13 version; I don’t know how the PG version differs, but the IMDB does, at least to some degree.

Premise

A girl band is manipulated into stardom as part of a plot to brainwash the nation’s youth.

High Point

“I thank God every day I knew all the words to ‘Enter Sandman.'”

Low Point

Parker Posey was a little too over the top.

The Review

This isn’t original. It’s an adaptation, and one that doesn’t stray too far from the beaten path. I give it 3 out of 6.

The effects are minimal. In fact, I can only think of two scenes that have any; the plane crash, and the distorted reality walking the streets. Both were very well done, though. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is pretty simplistic in structure, and rather predictable, but it’s still a lot of fun. The ending is a bit stretched out, but otherwise, this moves with a steady and rapid tempo. The plot is logically consistent, apart from the exclusion of Alexandra, but even that is handled pretty well. (When asked why she was even there, the character responds “because I was in the comic.” Its a stretch to have her there, but they don’t take themselves seriously enough for this to be a problem.) I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting is generally good. Cook, Dawson, Cumming, Reid and the Du Jour boys fit their charicatures quite well, though Posey went a little too far in my opinion. I give it 4 out of 6.

The production was pretty solid. The music was very important, and very well done. (In fact, I bought the soundtrack.) The visual feel is much like a kinetic music video, highly appropriate to the subject matter. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was surprisingly pleasant. I did not expect to enjoy this movie, and it turned out to be a whole lot of fun. This is one of those movies that doesn’t demand a lot of thought from the audience, but doesn’t fall apart if you choose apply a lot of thought. Don’t expect Shakespeare, but you won’t be insulted. There are a lot of very enjoyable moments, including but definitely not limited to the High Point. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this is a decent little flick that’s a fun way to kill a couple of hours and walk away with a smile. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Josie and the Pussycats receives 31 out of 42.

6 replies on “Weekend Review – “Josie and the Pussycats””

  1. Alexius says:

    Agreed
    I’ve always really liked this movie, but I’ve never been sure why. "Because I was in the comic" explanation was always my high point.

    • Trekkie says:

      Re: Agreed

      I’ve always really liked this movie, but I’ve never been sure why. "Because I was in the comic" explanation was always my high point.

      I actually bought the soundtrack for it. Some of the songs they sang were actually kinda fun like ‘3 Small Words’ and what not.

      An enjoyable movie, which caught me by surprise when I watched it.

  2. karchie says:

    Very fun movie
    I saw this because I had kids of the right age at the time.
    But I really enjoyed it, from the product placement jokes to the name DuJour for the boy band. The Alexandra explanation was funny but my favorite line is near the end after her hair color change and the FBI guys runs into the scene and yells,
    ‘Holy Sh**, that woman has a skunk on her head’.
    I listen to the soundtrack often, very bouncy, upbeat music.
    Recommended.
    **kent

  3. Fez says:

    Very Underrated (but not by you)
    Oddly enough, my wife and I just rewatched this movie last weekend. We also own the soundtrack, not just because the music is good, but also because the singing voice of Josie is Kay Hanley, formerly of Letters To Cleo who now has a few solo albums. She also does some stuff for Disney (The theme song for "My Friends Tigger and Pooh" for one… Yes I have a three year old who likes it)

    I’ve liked LTC since way back in the "Here and Now" days.

    This movie has always gotten a bad rap from people who never saw it — or downright refused to see it. People thought it was a silly comic book adaptation without any depth, not something that turns out to be sort of a commentary on commercialism, pop culture, and poking fun at the music industry in general.

    Then again, the same people did this movie that did Can’t Hardly Wait (Harry Elfont, Deborah Kaplan) another movie I think is underrated — and so do the writers, in Josie and The Pussycats they put "Can’t Hardly Wait is Underrated" on one of the crawlers in the background when Fiona is giving the tour. :-) Those are full of comedy gold if you stop to read what they say.

    And you didn’t mention one of my favorite parts — the blatant "sponsorship" in practically every scene, according to IMDB there were ~73 companies with product placements but they did not get any money from them.

    • Trekkie says:

      Re: Very Underrated (but not by you)
      always wondered who’s voice it was. did she do JoJo’s Circus too?

      • Fez says:

        Re: Very Underrated (but not by you)

        always wondered who’s voice it was. did she do JoJo’s Circus too?

        No, that was another band but at the moment I don’t recall their name. Wikipedia and IMDB don’t seem to have it listed, either.

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