From the creators of the Archies comics is the all-girl rock band called Josie and the Pussycats, who also hail from the town of Riverdale. I can remember when this was a cartoon series from the early 70s that went along the lines of Scooby-Doo. In other words, a group of meddling kids always stumble into mysteries that they try to solve themselves.
Then in 2001 came Josie and the Pussycats the movie, which is an updated story on how it all began. A trio of struggling musicians, Josie (Rachael Leigh Cook), Melody (Tara Reid), and Valerie (Rosario Dawson) have dreams to make it to the big time. Soon after the popular boy band Dojour mysteriously disappears, the Pussycats get discovered by Wyatt (Alan Cumming), the top band producer for Mega Records. Now that’s peculiar because no band ever gets discovered that fast. It appears unrealistic, but too good to pass up.
The Pussycats also consist of manager Alexander (Paulo Costanzo), his sister Alexandra (Missi Pyle), and Josie’s boyfriend Alan M (Gabriel Mann), who is a separate musician. It’s strange that Alexandra comes along. What does she even do for this group, besides obsess over Alan? All Alexandra could say was, “I’m here because I was in the comic book.”
Even with all of the overnight success, Josie has doubts as if it was all too good to be true. It’s soon revealed that Fiona (Parker Posey), the head of Mega Records, is a mastermind behind a criminal brainwashing plot. Subliminal messages are hidden in rock and pop music to control the minds of teenagers to buy things due to fads and trend changes. If the musicians themselves ever become suspicious, it’s easy to cover up, mostly by plane crashes. It all makes perfect sense since many musicians really have died in plane crashes. Maybe not for that particular reason, but still.
Unaware of Fiona’s plan, the Pussycats have problems of their own. No, it’s not with the paparazzi. It’s with the studio making Josie the up front member, instead of the three girls as equals. That ends up testing the band’s friendship. Valerie is the first to notice, mostly because Wyatt keeps forgetting about her. Melody isn’t very bright, but she gets some bad vibes as well.
Soon, Valerie and Melody are summoned to be on TRL, which turns out to be a trap with Carson Daly himself trying to kill them. This was around the time when Carson Daly was engaged to Tara Reid. That’s why he and Melody have such an intimate conversation during the struggle.
After escaping, Valerie and Melody find that Josie has become a diva, which breaks up the band. As it turns out, she was being brainwashed by some other subliminal messages. Josie soon finds out about it, but gets captured along with Melody and Valerie. The three of them all make up and fight their way out. Those Pussycats can really kick butt. Where’d they learn to do that?
This movie totally rocks. The new songs are good for the modern day. I’m just a little surprised that it wasn’t really Rachael Leigh Cook singing, or was it?
On a side note, here’s my philosophy. A band is like a cake. First you have your bottom layers (the drums and bass), then a top layer (the rhythm and lead guitars), and the icing on top (the singer). Now on any cake, the icing is what sticks out the most. However, without the bottom layers all you get is icing by itself, which doesn’t make a very good cake. Every part of the cake is equally important. It’s the same principle with every member of a band. That’s what makes it work.