Comic Publishers

May 27, 2010

Film Fatale: Josie and the Pussycats

Josie and the Pussycats was released in 2001 and was directed by Harry Elfont as well as Deborah Kaplan. Two directors? It’s not completely unusual but I’m pretty sure just one director could have handled making this movie.  I’ve seen worse, but that’s not saying much. What makes it bearable is undoubtedly the eye candy, because I doubt many guys would be watching this film if there wasn’t any.

Josie is played by Rachael Leigh Cook and the pussycats (Melody and Valerie) are played by Tara Reid and Rosario Dawson. Though honestly I’m not a big fan of Tara Reid, and she’s supposed to be the sexiest one! I just don’t see it. Parker Posey is actually my favorite even though she plays the villain (Fiona – CEO of MegaRecords). Unfortunately even attractive women weren’t enough to save this movie at the box office. It actually lost money. It’s kind of amazing to me that Rosario Dawson managed to survive this AND Crossroads to become the sexy sought after starlet she is today. The guys in the band DuJour that get replaced by the girls are all famous actors as well, save one – Alexander Martin. Seth Green is of course very well known, Breckin Meyer has enjoyed a steady film career (though filled with many similar films, CluelessCan’t Hardly Wait (same directors)… Road Trip), and Donald Faison (who was also in Clueless) has been fortunate enough to have a major role on the hit tv series Scrubs. Even all this semi stardom couldn’t generate interest. Lets look at some possible reasons why.

Begin spoilers-

In the beginning of the film we get to see the boy band DuJour do a performance for fanatical fans. They sing the song “Backdoor Lover”. The title alone is shocking/hilarious, I can’t decide which. I like the idea of mocking boy bands so of course I enjoyed the exagerrated choreography, but it was only a minor high point above a pit of products and dumb dialogue. There was one other point of shock/hilarity when Melody is holding a sign by the roadside that says “Honk if you love pussy”. After she causes a car accident and flees the scene it’s revealed that the partially blocked sign said “Honk if you love pussycats“. From this point on we get more dumb blonde jokes, only they become progressively duller. Josie talks about getting the band into action saying “When life gives you lemons you make lemonade, and when the going gets tough…” Melody responds with, “The tough make lemonade.”

There is no shortage of product placement in this film, though it was voluntarily added without compensation. Rayban, Starbucks, Sobe, Gatorade, Target, Puma, McDonalds and Coca Cola are only a few of the brand names seen. I like that they poke fun of trends until the jokes start becoming bland. “Gatorade is the new Snapple! Tretorns are the new Adidas! Jerkin’ is the new cool! Orange is the new pink!” and on and on… The best one of the bunch? “Heath Ledger is the new Matt Damon.” Jokes just seem to fall a little flat, they don’t stick. At one point the Pussycats’ manager Alexander Cabot says to his sister Alexandra, “You know what, I still don’t understand why you’re here,” and she replies with, “I’m here because I was in the comic book.” He says “What?” and she says “Nothing.” It’s too obvious, and makes me want to groan a little when I hear it. Another part that gets under my skin a little is when the girls get a major makeover after they become famous, complete with a singing montage scene, and come out looking exactly like they did when they started. Maybe they changed their eye glitter from lavender to lilac, don’t ask me. The only other point of interest is when Tara Reid is fighting Carson Daly (whom she was dating at the time) and she says “I would never go out with a guy like you,” as a pun… that is, if anyone finds that interesting, because I sure don’t.

End spoilers-

All in all I would have to say the only reason to see this movie would be the beautiful women and hopefully the rare, mildly funny joke will keep you going until the credits roll. Better yet, I’d say check out the short lived tv series from the 70s. It’s very similar to the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! which is no wonder, they were created by the same animation studio (Hanna-Barbera Productions). The studio asked Archie Comics if it could use some material to make a Saturday  morning cartoon and were given a book developed from the original comic Josie. What was created turned out to be less like Josie and a little more like Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! If you happen to like that sort of thing then get yourself some scooby snacks and check it out, it’s way better than this movie.

Click here to read up on some classic Josie and the Pussycats!

The Movie Lady



  1. Rosario Dawson got me through this movie

  2. It’s a bad movie, but I secretly almost kind of liked it. Alan Cumming helped.

  3. Maybe if the producers had charged for all the product placement they would have actually made some coin on this atrocity.

  4. I love these kind of movies. Teenish comedy drama types. It’s a guilty pleasure…except I don’t really feel guilty about it. Hah.

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  6. Billy

    Never saw the movie but I was a fan of the TV show…

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