Josie and the Pussycats

Bomb Rating: 

Watching this movie is like watching someone wander into traffic for no reason. I'd ask why Hollywood does these things, but the very question seems pointless. The answer is, of course, "Because it can." Some guy with connections offered up this gem, and nobody had the guts to tell him, "That's the most idiotic idea I've ever heard."

I'm all for ripping on product placements in movies, but what "Josie and the Pussycats" tries to do is the worst kind of hypocrisy. Writer/directors Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont attempt to have their cake and eat it too by saturating their own set with product placements, then advancing a theme critical of the commercialization of culture. They end up biting off far more than they can chew. Don't you love it when Hollywood types, after biting, scratching and clawing their way to the top, use their ill-gotten power to rediscover their ethics?

Josie McCoy (Rachael Leigh Cook), Melody Valentine (Tara Reid) and Valerie Brown (Rosario Dawson) end up with a record contract because evil record executive Wyatt Frame (Alan Cumming) and evil record company president Fiona (Parker Posey) want to use them to promote products. Their evil mechanism is a mind-altering machine that puts subliminal messages into the Pussycats' songs to convince kids to buy and eat certain things. I don't know what subliminal messages were actually in this film, but they may explain why I tried to drive my car into the theater lobby and run down the ticket-taker after it was over.

To make matters worse, the story is tired, the performances are boring, the script is boring and nothing in the entire film seems the least bit original or fun. If you're going to turn an idea this stupid into a feature film, you might as well try to have fun with it. Then again, anybody who would take an idea like this and try to make a film out of it probably doesn't have the brain of a slug in the first place.

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