The latest fashion trends, designer labels and status symbols mean nothing to Josie, Melody and Val. They are more interested in creating their own home-grown rocker chic fashions and singing their own kind of rock music from their garage, while dreaming that one day they will make it big. When they are "discovered" by a band manager Wyatt, who instantly delivers a recording contract with Mega Records, it looks as if Josie and the Pussycats are on their way to the top. Before long, the girls have the number one single in the country, but they soon begin to suspect foul play. Realizing they are pawns in an evil attempt by the record label's maniacal CEO Fiona, to control the youth of America, the girls vow to clear their names and kick some major corporate butt while they're at it!
Rachael Leigh Cook plays Josie, whose band, the Pussycats, is so far down that even the group's managers ridicule it. But the Pussycats are hurled into stardom when a record executive (Alan Cumming) signs them to his label and remakes them. It turns out that Josie and company are pawns in a government conspiracy to use pop music to brainwash kids. "Josie" takes off from both the Archie Comics character and the cartoon series in which the band ran around solving mysteries. But the film is gruelingly self-referential, substituting sarcasm for irony. No one got around to telling the filmmakers that when a picture laughs at itself, it relieves the audience of the necessity of having to do so. — Elvis Mitchell
2001-04-11 | Elvis Mitchell | Read the New York Times Review of Josie and the Pussycats