Josie and the Pussycats-Movie Review

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Josie and the Pussycats

D. Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan
2002 98 min. PG-13

Josie and the Pussycats is the most criminally neglected teen movie of the last decade. When boy-band DuJour discovers that their records contain subliminal messages, their wily manager Wyatt (in a terrific turn by Alan Cumming) has them killed and sets his sights on fledgling Riverdale band The Pussycats.

Renaming them Josie and the Pussycats, Wyatt and his evil boss Fiona (indie-goddess Parker Posey) transform them into a mainstream-friendly #1 act within a matter of days.

While initially enjoying their overnight success, eventually the Pussycats figure out that they are just pawns for a greedy record industry. Let me just end the debate right now: to ostensibly protest against the dangers of commercialism and conformity while shamelessly flaunting incessant product-placement embodies all that is rebellious about rock n'roll.

In a bold and clever move, the film deliberately cannibalizes its own message. Josie and the Pussycats isn't just a vacuous, fun film -- it's a subversive film posing as a vacuous film posing as a subversive film. As a wise scholar once said: Bubblegum music is the naked truth.

Kier-La Janisse, Rock n' Roller

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