|Josie and the Pussycats||
Boy gets girl. Did we have any doubt? Alan (Mann) smooches Josie (Cook) while Val and Mel (Dawson and Reid) rock on.
dir-scr Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont|
with Rachael Leigh Cook, Tara Reid, Rosario Dawson, Alan Cumming, Parker Posey, Gabriel Mann, Paulo Constanzo, Missi Pyle, Breckin Meyer, Seth Green, Carson Daly, Eugene Levy
release US 11.Apr.01; UK 24.Aug.01
From the Archie comic spinoff, here's another self-aware comedy in the Charlie's Angels mode, combining wacky antics with a ridiculous plot and lots of wink-wink nudge-nudge parody. And of course girls in skimpy, spangly costumes. Josie, Mel and Val (Cook, Reid and Dawson) are the Pussycats, a teen girl band playing embarrassing gigs and getting nowhere. Then a record label hot-shot (Cumming) decides they could be the Next Big Thing and launches their career. Suddenly they're at the top of the charts! But behind the scenes there's a sinister plot afoot involving the record label boss (Posey) controlling the minds of America's youth through subliminal messages in the music.|
The film's manic style is actually good for several solid laughs--both broad slapstick humour and a more subtle satire of corporate America. Performances are energetic and often quite funny (Cumming is terrific, but doesn't he play this role in every film out there?), with several amusing cameos. The '80s-style music isn't half bad, and a running gag about product placement reaches absurd heights. There are also solid spoofs of things like boy bands (every detail is wickedly lampooned in the opening sequence) and promotional excess. But several soppy moments bring the whole thing screeching to a halt--and they're always undermined slightly too late. And the real problem is that there's nothing particularly original or entertaining about the film. Which makes us wonder why did they bothered to make it.