Josie And The Pussycats


Directed by: Harry Elfont, Deborah Kaplan
Written by:Harry Elfont, Deborah Kaplan
Starring: Rachel Leigh Cook, Tara Reid, Rosario Dawson, Alan Cumming, Parker Posey
Released: June 14, 2001
Grade: B+

I was more than surprised to say I enjoyed this teen flick based on the 70s cartoon series.  Leading boy band DuJour discover their songs contain subliminal messages which are being used to brainwash teenagers into buying certain products.  Given this revelation, they are all killed in a mysterious plane crash before they had the chance to expose those responsible.

Needing a new band to pitch their products through, music executive Fiona (Posey) and employee Wyatt (Cumming) go in search and find Josie (Cook), Melody (Reid) and Valerie (Dawson) and create Josie And The Pussycats.  The girls are a little stunned when success comes so quickly but none suspect the real reason for their new found popularity.  That is until Josie discovers their hidden secret...

I know the above outline sounds lame but it’s because the film is designed that way.  The greatest feature (and what makes it so enjoyable) is the way the film mocks the commercialism that is dominating society.  Almost every scene has a brand logo of some form in the background.  I had to laugh at the small McDonalds logos that lined the shower screen and the Target symbols on plane walls and bedspreads.

Alan Cumming and Parker Posey are accomplished independent actors which makes you wonder why they’d star in a film like this.  The reason is that there’s fun to be had and they steal the spotlight from the teen cast with their witty remarks.  I can’t forget an inspired cameo from Eugene Levy (Best In Show, American Pie) that caught me off guard to say the least.

Despite the negativity I often express towards the genre, here’s proof that a film need not be pitched to those with low IQs.  Let’s give teenagers a little more credit and provide a comedy that’s just a little more challenging.