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Josie & The Pussycats (2001)
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Review Date: April 09, 2001
Director: Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan
Writer: Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan
Producers: T. DeRosa-Grund, T. Edmonds, C. Grimes, M. Platt
Actors:
Rachael Leigh Cook as Josie
Tara Reid as Melody
Rosario Dawson as Val
Plot:
Based on the popular cartoon series from the Archie Comics, Josie and her best friends Val and Melody have a musical group called "The Pussycats". When an evil manager comes to Riverdale to find himself a new hot group, he hooks up with the Pussycats and makes them one of the more popular bands in the world within a few weeks. Of course, he's also slapping subliminal messages into their songs so that the government could mold the minds of the young, but what else is new, right? :)
Critique:
A cute, harmless little movie that will likely be enjoyed by both young boys and girls, with catchy, bubblegum songs, many clever in-jokes, some lulls, some misses but an overall sense of fun. This movie tries to do what CHARLIE'S ANGELS did last year, with bright colors, energetic scenes, lotsa style, lotsa winkie-wink moments...but for teens! Unfortunately, this movie only semi-succeeds with too many jokes which try to be funny, but aren't, a few corny "romance" moments and a way too obvious story line (I know, I know...that's not why we see movies like this one, but still!). And a lot like the latter film, this movie knows that it's there just for fun, milking many a pop culture moment and even making the obvious "pussy" joke during its opening credits (impressively daring!). There's also the whole TRL sequence in which Tara Reid's character is going back and forth with Carson Daly, which is quite hilarious (they are a real-life couple) and even more fun is paid at the expense of the entire "boy band" phenomenon (go Seth!). The movie is also quite self-referential, like the one spot in which one of the characters is asked why she is tagging along with the band and she says, "Because I was in the comic book".

But the funniest two characters in the whole movie are Melody (Tara Reid) and the evil manager (Alan Cumming). They both stole every scene in which they were present, and you couldn't help but enjoy Melody's complete goofiness. Great performances from both actors! In fact, all three Pussycats played their characters very well (although Rosario Dawson seemed quite "big" compared to the others) and made you believe in them. I did however think the character of Alan M. was completely miscast as a sensitive skinny dude, as he's always been known as the jockey built guy in the comics (yup, I still read Archie comics, boys and girls...it's pretty darn sad). But like I said before, there were also way too many moments in which not much was happening, or "funniness" was supposed to occur, but it just didn't gel (like Parker Posey's character, who wasn't as humorous as you'd think). In the end, the movie is basically just having a lot of fun with itself, so I don't think anyone seeing it should take it too seriously either. Of course, that doesn't mean that it's a "good" movie by any means, but if you're in the mood for mindless, goofy, teen, bubbly fun, than you could do worse. I guess what I'm saying is basically what Josie said near the end of the film before her final song (allow me to paraphrase): "If you think it's cool, great, and if you don't, that's fine, too. But decide on your own."

Did I just quote Josie in my review? Yipes...maybe they really did subliminally slip some things into this movie
(c) 2015 Berge Garabedian
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