Josie and the Pussycats (2001)

josie and the pussycats poster 2001 movie
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 2/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Script has a number of clever and smart moments

The script is done in by the plot, too many characters, bad ending, mixed consumerism message

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Josie and the Pussycats

Studio:  Riverdale Productions

Genre(s):  Comedy/Musical/Comic Book

Release Date(s):  April 11, 2001

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

josie and the pussycats rosario dawson rachael leigh cook tara reid

I’m sure we’ll all be best friends forever!

Josie (Rachel Leigh Cook), Valerie (Rosario Dawson), and Melody (Tara Reid) are looking to make it big as the Pussycats.  When the pop band Du Jour is lost in a plane crash, music executive Wyatt Frame (Alan Cumming) needs a new group to secretly peddle products through subliminal messages.  Rebranding the Pussycats as Josie and the Pussycats, Wyatt and his boss Fiona (Parker Posey) are out to pull off the greatest brainwashing of all time…are the Pussycats strong enough to resist the power of the messages?

Directed by Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan, Josie and the Pussycats is a musical comedy.  The movie is based on the Josie and the Pussycats comic which was party of the Archie brand which first premiered in 1962 with Josie (and the Pussycats following in 1969).  The movie was critically panned and a box office bomb.

Josie and the Pussycats was a fun “swinging” cartoon and comic.  Josie and the Pussycats had the potential to be a great movie…but worse than failing, it showed potential at points that makes it failure even worse.

josie and the pussycats boy band du jour seth green donald faison breckin meyer alexander martin

Du Jour means death!!!.

The story is the core problem with Josie and the Pussycats.  The writing is sometimes clever (the code for crashing the plane is “Drive the Chevy to the Levy” and the girl who can’t be warped by the pop consumer music is “Smells like Teen Spirit”).  It’s mixed with an extremely lazy plot that feels cheap.  The ending is a mess with a story that just really doesn’t go anywhere.

There are too many characters due to the comic book.  The casting I will say is perfect for Cook, Dawson, and Reid who embody the characters (Reid is annoying but so was Melody).  Other characters seem unnecessary.  In another amusing moment, Missi Pyle’s Alexandra admits that she’s only there because she was in the comic…but it seems like both Parker Posey and Alan Cumming could have been Alexander and Alexandra without making them villains or adding characters.  Gabriel Mann’s Alan M was rather dull (but the character already was).  Seth Green, Breckin Meyer, and Seth Green were good casting for the hot boyband at the time but the last scene only Alexander Martin could come back for the final scene…and it is pretty weak.

josie and the pussycat final concert rachel leigh cook tara reid rosario dawson

We can play the song and end this all!!!

The movie looks ok, but it doesn’t really matter because the plot is awful.  The movie pumps the pop nature of the band and is loaded with tons of product placements with the subliminal message promotions…which kind of contradicts the message that you should try to be an individual.

Josie and the Pussycat could have been good if two-thirds of the script was scrapped and the good third of the script was expanded and fine-tuned.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.  It is painful in that the movie is loaded with kind of clever moments that are dragged down.  The Pussycats weren’t dead however.  A new group of Pussycats found their voice in the TV series Riverdale in 2017.

Related Links:

Josie and the Pussycats—The Complete Series

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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