More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 16.24%
Average: 16.24%
Pretty Bad: 22.22%
Total Crap: 17.95%

7 reviews, 75 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Fugue by Jay Seaver

Aniara by Jay Seaver

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum by Jay Seaver

Long Day's Journey Into Night (2018) by Jay Seaver

Shadow by Jay Seaver

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché by Jay Seaver

Hustle, The by Peter Sobczynski

Detective Pikachu by Peter Sobczynski

Mope by Jay Seaver

Tone-Deaf by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

Josie and the Pussycats
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Erik Childress

"Josie & The Pussycats Are Boring, But The Movie Is Pretty Funny"
4 stars

Through the canon of old TV shows, cartoons and comic strips, Josie and the Pussycats must have ranked somewhere between Car 54, Where Are You and Born Loser on the pile of why bother. I was looking forward to it about as much as the debut album of the winners of Pop Stars. But funny is as funny does and a funny thing happened as I was watching it, I was laughing. Even funnier than that funny thing was that Josie and the Pussycats were not funny, but the movie wasn’t that bad.

We get off on the right fad as the latest boy band, DuJour, arrives at the airport amidst a mob of screaming, crying teenage girls. The band led by the great Seth Green and “Clueless” vets Breckin Meyer and Donald Faison are never seen without their little head mikes and perform their latest hit, “Backdoor Lover.” All the actors appropriately chew up the scenery here and hit every bad note so well, that I wished the movie were actually called DuJour. But at the first sign of in fighting, their manager Wyatt Frame (a brilliant Alan Cumming) sabotages their flight and parachutes his way into the town of Riverdale. I feared the movie had gone down in flames along with the airplane.

And for a short while it does when we’re introduced to Josie, her pussycats and the first of a number of “pussy” jokes. Adapted from the spin-off of the Archie comics and subsequent Hanna/Barbara cartoon in the early 70s, lead singer Josie (Rachael Leigh Cook), guitarist Valerie (Rosario Dawson) and drummer/ditz Melody (Tara Reid) are the struggling rock band, the Pussycats. Playing wherever they can find space from the bowling alleys to the sidewalks, their ship (and ours) comes in as Wyatt, searching for the next big thing, almost runs them over and re-introduces the laughter to the film.

So a week goes by and they have now climbed to the top of the charts surrounded by what has to be the Guinness record for the most product placements EVER in a single movie. It starts off as a little coarse, but gets funnier and richer with every scene. (Even the gagging tape is sponsored.) But fame comes with a price (and a devious plot). In this case, Wyatt and his producer-in-crime, Fiona (Parker Posey) plan to brainwash teenagers with subliminal messages hidden underneath the soundwaves of their band’s music, which doesn’t seem that far-fetched with the artists flooding the airwaves today.

But it is satire and it’s a very important part of the film because without it we’d be left with a lame plot about three boring teenagers trying to make it as a rock band. It’s not the fault of the actresses who must be playing the parts as written because there isn’t a whole lot of room for improvisation. Tara Reid is trying (trying desperately) to make her dumb blond character work. And with the amount of air floating around in there, she should be able to make it fly. Yet it never rose above an occasional smile of recognition for the effort.

This movie belongs to Alan Cumming. Without him, Josie and the Pussycats is just that lame plot with an intermittent zinger thrown in to wake us up. Cumming (who played a similar role in the much weaker Spiceworld) manages to find the comic situation in every frame he’s in. Sure he gets all of the film’s best lines (including my favorite, a reference to his role in Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion), but comedy is also about body language and finding the funny without words. Cumming does all of that every time he flashes a look or slaps the hand of one of his bandmembers. Anytime he is on screen, the movie works. Anytime he is not, well, the movie’s not that bad.

We could have been subjected to yet another tale about one-hit wonders and band egos, but this is a straight-up satire of the music world today and the marketing behind it. Comparisons can easily be made to last year’s cartoon-to-live-action Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. Not only are Wyatt and Fiona the Boris & Natasha of the piece, but the earlier film had the Fearless Leader hypnotizing unsuspecting telefiles with bad TV shows. Except this time the jokes don’t fade after the first half-hour and even get better. It’s amazing how critics can disagree so vehemently on these films with comments ranging from “garbage” to “you’re missing the point.” Well, I guess one man’s squirrel is another man’s

Admittedly, my brain jumped back and forth during the course of the tail as well. I loved the introduction of the boy band, but didn’t care a lick about meeting the pussycats. Many jokes fall flat while others emphatically hit the bullseye. Carson Daly shows that even in a self-defilement cameo he’s as talented as a broken microphone, but his TRL partner (in the movie) makes us laugh by trying to kill people while impersonating celebrities. The music is only marginally more rockin’ than your typical corporate put together rock bands, yet some moments make you yearn to see this film as a full-blown musical. And why feel the need to spice up the humor with the occasional “pussy” joke when the rest of the movie lives within the boundaries of the “PG” world. A little hypocritical if it’s meant to build up the profits by retailing to teenagers with a “PG-13” rating.

Josie and the Pussycats is not going to make a lasting impression on anyone. Much like the bands they parody, its fast, breezy and colorful. It’s not meant to be taken too seriously and will be whisked away from memory the minute the next live-action comic is advertised. Josie and the Pussycats comes out at a perfect time in our culture where magazines and MTV tell us what’s hip and who’s hot. This isn’t a new concept, but we may be at its peak today when a dozen all-boy and all-girl bands fight for domination and even reality shows put us through the excruciatingly painful process of picking out these no-talents.

Critics are in a similar predicament when it comes to seeing films like Josie, based on comics, television and cartoons. It seems a new one comes out every week and at the risk of putting any thought or chance for laughter into their viewing, it gets dismissed way before the projector begins, thus eliminating the chance for a fair review. Skepticism was all I could feel the minute I heard they were casting this film, but like Charlie’s Angels, my pessimism was checked with the ticket guy and, overall, I had a good time. So, don’t listen to the reviews. Don’t listen to critics who can’t tell the humor in a music satire from the richness of the poo-poo humor from French knights in Chicago. Better off, don’t take my word for it. Go see Josie and the Pussycats and make up your own mind.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 04/14/01 01:13:24
[printer] printer-friendly format  
TV to Screen: For more in the TV to Screen series, click here.

User Comments

12/17/07 SylviaP this was terribly good, and rosario dawson was soooo hot in it! 5 stars
7/11/07 Tiffany Losco I loved it. I am a big archie comics fan, and love josie and the pussycats. 4 stars
7/11/07 Tati oh my gawd! this movie is CRAP! dont even watch it, u'll be wastong ur time 1 stars
6/20/07 Amy best i've eber seen 5 stars
2/23/07 David Pollastrini All the women in this film are hot! 3 stars
5/22/06 micaja this movie is the best movie i have ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it's funny,romantic,good music 5 stars
6/05/05 Ubu the Ripper Horrid horrid scheiss. Not even enjoyable if you are paid to watch it. 1 stars
2/02/05 Jeff Anderson THIS FILM IS PUTRID GARBAGE & SHOULD BE BURNED AT THE STAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
1/27/05 PR Serious Shite. Even RLC could not save it 1 stars
9/20/04 Jessica look past all the teen marketing and you see a fairly fresh funny movie 4 stars
7/27/04 mel valentine omg this is like the best movie of all time ok don't nobody dare trash it. that's wiggedy 5 stars
7/02/04 Sora Its GREAT!!! 5 stars
6/17/04 Sarah I like the OBVIOUS sarcasm of the adverisments.... such as the target one in the very begin 3 stars
5/24/04 Butterbean Rather see this than Scooby Doo. Music sucks, but a clever plot! 4 stars
5/20/04 Akisame15 EXCELLENT!!! 5 stars
4/29/04 sarah nobody should waste any money on that film. Totaly a waste of time. 1 stars
4/12/04 Gray waste of film 1 stars
3/10/04 Rachel Furey Best movie in the world! 5 stars
3/08/04 tats nice band... 5 stars
3/06/04 Ashleigh-jane McLauchlan Hassll Grove 5 stars
3/04/04 tinka great 4 stars
12/31/03 HELLOWEEN nah...pretty crappy if you ask me. Too boring 2 stars
12/06/03 lilcutie a great film 5 stars
9/02/03 Jenna* I luved the movie so much i bought it! 5 stars
8/26/03 I Would Clever satire that suffer's from a predictable plot. 3 stars
8/07/03 tp the satire's pretty obvious, but clearly over some people's heads 4 stars
6/23/03 John Aster Habig it's actually quite funny teen pop muzak and subliminal messages by nature are funny 4 stars
6/12/03 Rach Parker its a great film, its ment to be a mick-take not as a serious feel good teenage film! 5 stars
5/19/03 C-dog toomany ads 2 stars
4/15/03 reptilesni What the fuck was that? Is there a no stars option here? 1 stars
3/17/03 Jake Makes the Misadventures Of Jason Vorhees Look Like Shakesphere 1 stars
2/02/03 Lord David Completely awesome - makes a case for individuality over mindless mass marketing 5 stars
1/11/03 sdjfsdkjf when the simpsons did the whole subliminal msgs thing, it was funny. Josie and co aint. 1 stars
12/24/02 vanessa itz a wicked movie, get ova it 5 stars
11/10/02 Charlotte Loved it. Seth Green is sooo hot. 5 stars
10/10/02 Mark Tara Reid is sooo sexy I want her to marry me even though I'm only thirteen this film rules 5 stars
9/16/02 mia i loved the movie. it was fun to watch. 5 stars
9/02/02 Akasha i luv it - seth green is sexy 5 stars
6/28/02 Kyle Painfully unfunny, every single joke except 1 falls flat, which wasn't that funny. 1 stars
5/15/02 Kakararaniniginjia Sinitraviwasanjofraz Byv mukh DIN prejkh wanwuvh Tara Reid; Dudou vaugjimh prvecch ku Rachel Leigh Cooke tuvh tu 2 stars
4/30/02 hilary Tara Reid is hilarios (AWESOME) 5 stars
4/30/02 hilary Tara Reid is hilarious (AWESOME) 5 stars
3/30/02 Hennec The characters and plot are just as two-dimensional as the comics they came from. 2 stars
3/12/02 attheback not even the people who see this movie or the people who made it will evr understand it 5 stars
3/06/02 Veronica Foxx aka The Raven-Haired Temptress Movies like these are the work of the gov't to invoke mass suicide and solve overpopulation 1 stars
2/12/02 Yesenia Its was hot!! 5 stars
1/20/02 Nexus6 Fun but painfully self concious, Rachael's a babe 3 stars
1/20/02 Spyguy2 Couple of good rips at the lame state of MTV sanctioned music and the dupes that listen in 3 stars
1/07/02 Stephanie good music very different from other movies 5 stars
11/23/01 Will Diamond No good. 2 stars
10/23/01 Canuck Campy, but terribly funny... worth it for the laughs. 5 stars
10/14/01 Gia Carangi It was way the hell better than Zoolander! 4 stars
10/08/01 josie I think it was a good film 4 stars
10/06/01 Amy Like cotton candy, empty but fun 3 stars
9/18/01 Bri lame 2 stars
9/01/01 Butterbean Goofy and fun! 4 stars
8/29/01 Matthew Bartley Surreal...but funny 4 stars
8/17/01 hilary worth a look 4 stars
7/03/01 luana this movie sucked 1 stars
7/01/01 aaron the movie was crap but the chicks were hot there the only reason id go see it again 3 stars
6/23/01 King of the Bros I'd do a review, but the subliminal messages told me not too. 5 stars
6/21/01 Ryan Phillippe gets hit by a car and it rules! Matt Mulcahey is insane, screw respectability, this movie rules. 5 stars
6/15/01 Breno bloody funny 5 stars
5/16/01 hania its puuuurrrfffeeeeccttt 5 stars
5/07/01 ric the inarticulate,weak and pathetic melody was ditzy&insanely sexy but not dumb..loved the songs,'bass lines 5 stars
4/26/01 Harlarla Nelly was entertaining...isnt that what is was suppose to be?? 5 stars
4/24/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) This is the only beginning of the defaming of classic cartoons. The worst is yet to come.. 2 stars
4/23/01 siro This movie would be a total piece of shit if it wasn't for the hot chicks distracting you 2 stars
4/18/01 Darren Shea Much better than expected: Nice eye candy, decent music, and Alan Cummings is fun 4 stars
4/17/01 himanshu sexy girl's 1 stars
4/16/01 your pussycat KICKASS MOVIE~ the girls were awesome!!!!!1 5 stars
4/15/01 Mike Tara Reid always looks like a cheap crack hoe with that hacking voice 1 stars
4/15/01 Senior Choad Horrible. Plays to 13 year olds or those with IQs under 70 1 stars
4/12/01 tjwills Better than I could have hoped for. Some great satiric bits. 4 stars
4/08/01 Punk Rock Prom King Kickass amazing movie! Such great music, esp. "3 Small Words". Wish I was in a band...=^) 5 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  11-Apr-2001 (PG-13)



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast