"Josie and the Pussycats" lampoons its own audience

by Eric Melin on April 11, 2001

in Print Reviews

My friend Jon says I’m too easy on movies. He says if I take them to task a bit more it would be more fun to read. He’s probably right. This one in particular is a case in point.

I wasn’t expecting much, and I mainly went because I was intrigued by the fact that a movie so obviously directed at teens was about a rock band and not some lame “boy band” like the N’Syncers. I was curious to see if the Pussycats would be a garage band, too. I’ll admit, the song on the ad was real catchy too and I kinda dug it.

Well, guess what? “Josie” attacks the very teen market that they are trying to attract! The entire premise is violently poking fun at teenagers who are spoon-fed trends and bands like sheep. It turns out that the record companies and the government decide which flavor-of-the-week will be next, and their songs serve to sell more big corporate products.

This is still a teen movie, and behind the smart social satire in the story and especially the set designs (big company logos appear everywhere, even on bathrobes), there are hollow characters and bad dialogue. This is where Jon would tell me to lay into “Josie.” But I can’t because I forgive the film for these trangressions. I had a good time laughing at some of the subversive jokes.

One non-conformist teen is told that her unpopular opinions really do matter by a record company mogul right before she is shoved into a van and carried away. The camera remains focused on the empty alleyway where “mtv.com” is painted on the wall. Funny. At least to me– not for most of the kids in the audience, however, and that’s even funnier.

While none of the people in this movie are believable, and none of the jokes that don’t directly relate to the ‘sheep’ premise are funny, I liked “Josie” because it’s still very obviously a risky satire wrapped up and sold to teens like any other dumb teen movie. And some of those songs are pretty damn catchy.

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers and regular critic for KCTV5. He’s a member of the BFCA, VP of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also the current 2013 Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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