On Second Thought: “Josie and the Pussycats”

Ah, the guilty pleasure film. It’s a strange film and yet, you can’t take you’re eyes from it. You can’t resist watching it again and again, even though you know it’s bad.

For me and the case of the Universal Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film “Josie and the Pussycats”, I not only find myself glued to what’s going on, but incredibly entertained by it. This, I know, should not be the case. Yet, I’m comforted, somewhat, with the fact that I don’t feel that bad about laughing at the terrible jokes being used.

This comedy film stars Rachel Leigh Cook (“Perception”, “Left to Die”), Rosario Dawson (“Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”, “Cesar Chavez”), Tara Reid (“Sharknado 2: The Second One”, “The Hungover Games”), Gabriel Mann (“Revenge”, “Cesar Chavez”), Paulo Costanzo (“Royal Pains”, “That Burning Feeling”), Missi Pyle (“Jennifer Falls”, “A Haunted House 2”), Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”, “The Being Experience”), and Parker Posey (upcoming “Grace of Monaco”, “And Now a Word from Our Sponsor”).

The film was written and directed by Harry Elfont (“Can’t Hardly Wait”, “Leap Year”) and Deborah Kaplan (“Can’t Hardly Wait”, “Leap Year”). It is based on the comic as well as the animated TV series, “Josie and the Pussycats”.

Originally, when I saw that this was going to be on again, I thought, “This will be fun. I get to see what made this film interesting all those years ago, and what makes this film a bad film.” Much to my surprise, this ended up being more than just a bad movie, but a film I oddly found myself liking; more than I know I should. I should probably start my own guilty pleasure collection of films!

One of the, annoyingly, yet catchy draws for this film, was the music. It acted much like all pop songs do, especially today. Be catchy enough to lure you into thinking they’re good, and fun to listen too multiple times. Well, at least when it comes to the film, that’s exactly what happened. I was able to listen, and remember the words, and just enjoy the tunes and scenes that accompanied them.

The thing that I noticed about the acting, that makes the film deliciously bad, is that the acting isn’t flat out bad. It’s deliberately bad, or, better yet, intentionally over the top. When watching Posey, it dawned on me that she was making her character seem far more melodramatic. It suits her, as she can segue between serious and over the top quite well. Does anyone remember her appearance on “Will & Grace”? Not everyone was like that, but what each one was was not taking this seriously. The characters were silly and all over the place, which did help make the film oddly entertaining. Mind you, even with all this in mind, there were some pretty unbearable moments, but I think that stemmed more from the fact that this film really dated itself. The year’s release doesn’t help either. Can you say dated film?

While this film is bad, in so many ways, it’s also a little interesting when you think about it. It’s a film, that’s central themes are consumerism and pop culture. While it may awkwardly still fit today, it’s interesting to view and try to see it as it was seen 13 years ago. It may not fully succeed at being a kind of satire, it sure tried its hardest. Or did a massive amount of overkill. Every shot and scene had some sort of product placement in it, so it’s kind of making it’s own point, while overly bombarding you at the same time.

I was surprised that this film wasn’t more of a train wreck. It certainly beat “Glitter” in the least worst film, but not by much. I may not suddenly have the desire to run out and buy this film on DVD, but I won’t deny that in watching this, I had a really fun time! That’s the problem with some stupid guilty pleasure films, they are too effective and then afterwards, even in private, you’re not sure whether or not to kick yourself.


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