Starring: Rachael Leigh Cook, Rosario Dawson, Tara Reid
Director: Harry Elfont, Deborah Kaplan
Running Time: 98 mins
Josie And The Pussycats is an American film about an amateur girl band who are unexpectedly shot to worldwide fame when picked up by a major record label. However, it soon emerges that their fame is a part of a dangerous conspiracy against American’s youth.
In all truth, I expected this film to be atrocious, but it’s not actually that bad. It’s a poor movie by all sensible standards, and with a collection of over-the-top performances, a ridiculous story and a slightly too similar likeness to Spice World, it can be a dull watch at times, however there are some elements of its light-hearted and beautifully simple nature that make it surprisingly pleasant at others.
First things first, however, don’t expect this film to be a genuinely entertaining comedy or anything of the sort, because it’s not. Save for a few very rare seconds, there’s next to no genuinely intelligent humour here, meaning that a bulk of the laughs that come up (which they admittedly do) are from laughing at the purely preposterous nature of everything that’s happening before your eyes.
And of course, it’s hardly a surprise when the story centres around a major record label putting crazed propaganda messages and product placement into the middle of big pop songs. Although the film actually manages to start off on a moderately entertaining footing by looking at how popstars dying is a blessing for record companies, it quickly falls apart when it keeps trying to put the same emphasis on this sumbliminal messaging joke, and it really doesn’t work quite as well.
It’s totally ridiculous for a start, but then the film goes all out and effectively turns into a zombie movie – with Josie And The Pussycats having to stop the people of America from going full living dead, rather than something slightly more grounded and believable.
What’s more with this film is that it’s completely confused as to who it’s appealing to. The ridiculous plot, poppy visuals and fluffy atmosphere all point towards it being a kids’ movie, aiming at the audience of Spice World, but then there are a few moments that feel totally out of place in a family movie, and it makes for a very confusing and often even frustrating watch, as you’re trying to figure out what mindset you’re really meant to be watching this film in, or what on earth the filmmakers think is appropriate for kids.
Despite all that, there were parts of Josie And The Pussycats that I actually enjoyed. First, for all its faults, it doesn’t fall into the trap of pulling a cheesy romance out of nowhere to drive an already dead story. Its main plot about saving the world is stupid, but at least it’s not too generic, and after about an hour or so, you eventually get used to how silly everything is and can sit back and relax with it instead.
Another surprising plus is some of the music. While I can’t say that the any of the lead actors can really be praised for performing the music, given that their performances really aren’t up to scratch at all, some of the cheesier and catchier pop numbers work well as genuine toe-tappers, and represent some of the film’s only genuine entertainment beyond so-stupid-it’s-funny.
Overall, I don’t think Josie And The Pussycats is a particularly good film. It’s a dumb, preposterous and confused comedy with very little in the way of well-written humour or good performances, but there are elements of such a light-hearted and simple movie that can make you smile, and that’s why I’m giving it a 6.6.