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:: Josie And The Pussycats

Josie and The Pussycats is probably best described as ‘Charlie’s Angels’ for the younger generation. It’s for those not yet old enough to really understand the meaning of ‘Backdoor Lover’, the hit single sung by the all boy band, Du Jour, who mysteriously disappear at the start of the film to make way for the instant stardom of Josie and the Pussycats.

Josie, played by Rachael Leigh Cook (She’s All That), is the lead singer in an all girl garage band, originally called The Pussycats. Melody, (Tara Reid) is the ditzy blonde drummer, and Valerie (Rosario Dawson) plays bass. They seem to be the only ones in the town of Riverdale not obsessed with the latest clothing fad and Du Jour, the number one band. No one comes to their gigs but that’s okay. They know they’re going to make it. When Du Jour’s manager (Alan Cumming) arrives in Riverdale looking for the next big thing, he stumbles onto the Pussycats and overnight fame and fortune ensue. However all is not as it seems and the three girls have to rely on their integrity and friendship to make it out of super rock stardom alive.

Based on the Archies comic book characters, the film has striking similarities to the Spice Girl’s movie, “Spiceworld”, yet seems to be making fun of its audience as much as it makes fun of itself. The opening sequence particularly would probably be insulting to the pre teen girls to which this film is aimed. The songs played by the Pussycats are catchy and work well in what is basically an extended video clip. There are some genuinely funny moments but they are few and far between, and the incessant spoofing of product placement starts to wear thin, especially as, in the end, it still is product placement. Fictional brand names would have made the point just as well.

An annoying performance from Parker Posey (Best in Show) made me wish she would just stick to arthouse films, but the rest of the cast was all suitably clear-skinned and cartoon like. Look out for a cameo from Eugene Levy (Best in Show), playing himself, in one of the funniest parts of the film. Written and directed by Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont, the team who brought you Can’t Hardly Wait, “Josie and The Pussycats” looks good, sounds good, but its ‘be yourself ’ message is probably a little too simplified, even for the kids.

Screening on general release