The latest fashion trends, designer labels and status symbols mean nothing to Josie, Melody and Val. They are more interested in creating their own home-grown rocker chic fashions and singing their own kind of rock music from their garage, while dreaming that one day they will make it big. When they are "discovered" by a band manager...
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The latest fashion trends, designer labels and status symbols mean nothing to Josie, Melody and Val. They are more interested in creating their own home-grown rocker chic fashions and singing their own kind of rock music from their garage, while dreaming that one day they will make it big. When they are "discovered" by a band manager Wyatt, who instantly delivers a recording contract with Mega Records, it looks as if Josie and the Pussycats are on their way to the top. Before long, the girls have the number one single in the country, but they soon begin to suspect foul play. Realizing they are pawns in an evil attempt by the record label's maniacal CEO Fiona, to control the youth of America, the girls vow to clear their names and kick some major corporate butt while they're at it!
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Meow! The original riot girrls pounce back in this live-action revival of the
1960s Archie comic book and 1970s Hanna-Barbera cartoon series. Power popsters
Josie and the Pussycats pound out one song after another while thwarting a nefarious
plan to brainwash a generation of teens into mindless consumers. Imagine that.
Who better to save the world from scheming corporate slimeballs than three suburban
girls with spunk, smarts--sort of--and catchy choruses to spare? Singer and guitar-slinger
Josie (Rachael Leigh Cook) sets the agenda. Melody (Tara Reid), sweet but slowwitted,
bangs the drums. Bassist Val (Rosario Dawson), always watching out for her friends,
knows when something's rotten in sleepy Riverdale. Their dream to make it to the
top of the charts becomes a reality when creepy record manager Wyatt Frame (Alan
Cumming) offers the garage band a contract - without hearing a single note. See,
Frame's in hot water. He's missing his boy band. Seems an airplane carrying the
four members of DuJour - of ''Backdoor Lover'' fame - fell off the radar, whereabouts
still unknown. Before you can say boxed-set retrospective, Frame whisks the re-christened
Josie and the Pussycats to the big city to meet MegaRecords CEO Fiona (Parker
Posey) - just Fiona - and to record a No. 1 album. One week later, Josie and the
Pussycats rule. Only the pressures of fame threaten to tear apart these lifelong
friends. And just why are Frame and Fiona planting subliminal messages on such
Josie and the Pussycats songs as ''Pretend to be Nice'' and ''Small Words''? Could
it be that they want to brainwash the youth of America into buying more than just
the singles, CD and merchandizing? Will the Pussycats save the day? Of course:
all things must end in a catfight.
Does acting really matter when it comes to such a glossy but exuberant display
of teen spirit? Not really, but these feline friends certainly try hard. They
storm their way through the Monkees-style music-fueled montages, looking and acting
very much like today's aspiring pop divas. An enigmatic talent used to ill-effect
in such recent disasters as Get Carter, Antitrust and Blow Dry,
the charming Cook imbues Josie with wisdom beyond her years, even if it takes
Josie a while to figure out what's going down. Playing a prototypical blonde bimbo,
Reid delivers her dopey asides with breathy giddiness and sincerity. ''If I could
go back in time, I would want to meet Snoopy,'' Reid gushes in one of her more
enlightened moments. Of the three, Dawson has the least to do. She's tougher than
leather, but that's about it. The three do find themselves outmatched by Cumming
and Posey, who make a deliciously dastardly duo. Cumming is becoming an old pro
at this, having recently menaced Antonio Banderas and family in Spy Kids.
There are some fun cameos, including Eugene Levy, as himself, hosting a hysterical
promotional film about subliminal messages. Yet there's something creepy about
watching MTV personality Carson Daly chase real-life love Tara Reid with a baseball
That Josie and the Pussycats takes itself somewhat seriously as a screed
against rampant consumerism seems both ironic and bewildering. Writers and directors
Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont - of Can't Hardly Wait fame, for what that's
worth - rally against corporate America's constant and often overpowering crusade
to persuade teens to buy their products. Yet every scene in the film - every scene!
- features a familiar brand of soft drink, shoes or clothes. This is not a film:
it's a shallow and insulting exercise in product placement. You can't see the
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