ninth symphony films - movie reviews

JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS (2001)


DIRECTOR  -  h elfont, d kaplan

RATED  -  pg

GENRE  -  musical

LENGTH  -  98 minutes

RELEASED  -  13 april 2001

DISTRIBUTOR  -  universal pictures

OFFICIAL SITE  -  josie the movie

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $22,000,000
josie and the pussycats - a shot from the film

BUY THE DVD:

buy the dvd from josie and the pussycats at amazon.com

buy the dvd from josie and the pussycats at amazon.com


SYNOPSIS:
josie, melody and val want to make it big with their rock band. when they're finally discovered by a band manager, they soon have the number one single in the country, but they soon suspect foul play.




MOVIE FACT:
the name of the boy band is dujour. in french, du jour means "of the day", so the band dujour is the "band of the day."


MOVIE FOTOS:

picture from josie and the pussycats

picture from josie and the pussycats

picture from josie and the pussycats



RATING:


zero out of four possible stars

Everyone who participated in this film failed in his or her job. Whether it was writing a decent script or casting decent actors, everything about this film reeks of bad movie. But it's more than just a bad movie. It's a cute concept from the 1970's that has been turned into a film that doesn't know it it's a comedy, a farce, or a tragedy. I'm leaning toward the latter. The main problems in this film come down to two mistakes. A poorly written script (or perhaps it was executed or edited poorly) and a casting job that was probably done by six year olds who thought Rachael Leigh Cook was the bomb in She's All That.

The comedy isn't funny, the farce isn't witty, and the story just isn't interesting. I realize that's quite a slam to the filmmakers of this project, but they deserve nothing better. My strongest argument for my reasoning that this movie is just full of bad choices is the way the story flip flops back and forth from reality to non-reality every few scenes. Now, it's not possible to watch this film and really believe in any of it, but the degree to which the filmmakers have inserted fantasy type elements of these girl's lives should have been a clue that they needed to keep with that unreality for the entire run of the film. But there are scenes in there that where the filmmakers ask the viewer to take these girls and their predicament seriously.

And it's just not possible when they've got Parker Posey walking around in an outfit that sports foot and a half long spikes that end in feathers attached to her collar, making her look like a giant cat toy. To make an entertaining satire, you've got to go all out and create a world that goes to the hilt in making fun of whatever subject is being tackled. But this film just kind of goes halfway. Trying to create something serious out of a subject that's already been made fun of in countless other movies just didn't work this time around. And it's almost certain that this failing was only made more serious because of the bad screenplay.

Now most everyone knows the basic story of josie and the pussycats: girls in a rock band who wear ears on their heads. But the screenwriter here decided to stick in some sub-plot about subliminal messages delivered to teenagers through pop music. The whole thing looks like nothing more than an excuse for product placement, and although the idea of putting well known brands in front of the camera is made fun of throughout most of the movie, it still seems like the filmmakers were serious about the product placements. I saw just one too many sets of McDonald's arches plastered on the walls and the target bull's eye was visible in just about every other shot. It wasn't satire, it was overkill.

This commenting on the commercialization of the kinds of movies geared towards teenagers is a worthy cause, but because the film tries to add in some believability with all those cat toys and product placements, the whole thing just ends up looking like a train wreck. Add to it that nobody in this film was decently cast. although Alan Cumming and Parker Posey have given decent performances in films before, it was probably the sub-par script they were given to work with that produced such uninteresting characters. Of course, one must question their accepting these roles. Perhaps this story looked better on paper than the story that resulted on screen.

Whether it was casting or story, this movie just doesn't do a whole lot right. But an element of the film that was really out of whack was probably Tara Reid's character. She plays the "dumb blonde" role in the film and in all her scenes she does stupid stuff like misinterpreting what people say and jumping up and down while singing tunes. She was the comic relief and she just wasn't funny. I hate to be so hard on these actors' performances, but bad acting deserves no compliments.

It's up to the actors to create an engaging movie, and whether or not the script is decent, the actors have a responsibility to create characters that are interesting and worth the time people have to spend watching the movie. Arguably, the only decent parts to this film are the song sequences. Of course, you've got to be a fan of pop music to enjoy them, but the actresses do a decent job lip synching to the music, though I hear they actually learned to play the instruments for their numbers. That was a nice touch, because it could have looked pretty fake otherwise. The way to watch this film is on dvd. Look up the chapters that contain the music sequences and fast forward to those. But only if you're a fan of pop music. If you don't like the teenie bopper stuff, just skip this experience altogether.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.


content 2000 - - ninth symphony films - photographs universal pictures 2001
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