Review Summary: Mr. moviefone: josie and the pussycats is the best band ever!7 of 7 thought this review was well written
I’m positive this movie flew underneath your radar or has long since been forgotten unless you had a romantic fixation on the drop dead gorgeous Rachael Leigh Cook. I, on the other hand, still mindlessly enjoy this rather silly comedy for a few reasons, some more obvious than others. It's hard to imagine it's been eleven years but I remember fondly since viewing this helped take my mind off being depressed about moving to the east coast. The quirky film is based on the famous Archie comics that sometimes featured 3 banging chicks, each with their own unique personality, who formed a kick ass rock band. It's in the updated big screen adaption that they changed into a more pop-punk oriented outfit and it's partially to blame for why this is such a guilty pleasure. It's not the first time I wished a fictitious band morphed into the real deal but this in particular blossoms nostalgic moments where my pop-punk adolescents flourished.
The movie itself is very much a satire of the way things work in the music industry and pokes fun at the ridiculous nature of the next big thing hype. I recall before the luxury of the Internet when fresh manufactured acts would pop up on Mtv and brainwash teens into blindly purchasing everything having to do with them. It's a far stretch to take a movie like this seriously but I applaud the depiction of a struggling unknown band hurled into fame where they're suddenly forced with artistic dilemmas like if they’ll let themselves become puppets. It's an obstacle that's all too real for an endless supply of humble musicians who live the dream only to become jaded husks of their former selves. It's honestly respectable that the writers stressed members shouldn’t be interchangeable faces who fans grovel over one minute then completely disregard the next.
The story arch of Josie and the Pussycats chronicles a pretty massive index of advice to follow on the correct makings of a band while exposing the many pitfalls constructed by money hungry suits. The vehicle obsessively mocks the consumer economy and there are glaring examples in nearly every scene of product placement overkill. It was a consciously intentional move that reaped no profit but enforced the idea corporate labels put subliminal messages in entertainment. Hell, it's the discovery that almost divides the ladies but ultimately ends up inspiring them to take control of their careers and preach about thinking on your own. Overall it’s a harmless adventure full of suitably acted hijinks that’s aged like fine wine in replay value…but what about the motion score?
Well to put it aptly, it’s like eating too much candy on Halloween and loving every single second of it despite the tummy ache it may inflict. Minus the two hilarious parody songs from make believe boy band Dujour (portrayed by Donald Faison, Seth Green, and Breckin Meyer) the rest of the track list is full of wildly infectious tunes that never outstay their welcome. I have to give credit to the actual songwriters who designed the music but hats off to the staggering commitment from all involved. The opening ‘3 Small Words’ is an upbeat fast paced blast that contains a pretty clever chorus you’d typically expect to receive from a veteran band of their styling. ‘Pretend To Be Nice’ is a bouncy number with a very bah bah bah type feel to it and flows smoothly into ‘Spin Around’ which sounds vaguely similar to a gender reversal on Green Day's Dookie
The acoustic ballad is naturally checked off the list with ‘You Don’t See Me’ and could easily be mistaken for an unreleased song written by any established female fronted pop-punk band out now. In fact, the soundtrack feels very much ahead of its time and I’m sure if all this would’ve been turned into a legit thing people wouldn’t be proclaiming Paramore as innovators. The lyrical aspects discussed are your usual topics coming from a girl in a pop-punk band and they’re convincingly belted enough for me to hum along with no shame. It’s neat that the three actresses went to band camp prior to filming to learn how to play their instruments and production decided to dub over Cook’s voice with Kay Hanley, formerly of Letters To Cleo.
The highlight of the album is certainly ‘Wish You Well’ and I’d advise it as the starting point for your introduction. The covers of ‘Money (That’s What I Want)' and ‘Real Wild Child’ are the only skip worthy additions as they don’t do the originals a shred of justice. The three remaining songs with the inclusion of the theme from the 70’s cartoon show are still enough to forgive those mishaps and as a whole everything is a true underrated gem. So if you’re in the mood for something lightheartedly cheerful that warps you back to a simpler time then I’d highly recommend popping in the film and album. It definitely won’t be everyones bag but if you can put your macho man act aside you might just surprise yourself quite a bit.