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"JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS"
(2001) (Rachel Leigh Cook, Tara Reid) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Minor Heavy Minor Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Mild *Moderate *Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate None None Moderate Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy/Adventure: The members of an all-girl band learn that fame isn't all that it's cut out to be when they discover sinister plans behind their recent, sudden success in the music industry.
PLOT:
Josie McCoy (RACHAEL LEIGH COOK), Melody Valentine (TARA REID) and Valerie Brown (ROSARIO DAWSON) are three young women in Riverdale who are hoping to take their garage band, The Pussycats, to bigger and better things. Unfortunately, their manager, Alexander Cabot (PAULO COSTANZO), can only get them gigs playing in bowling alleys and most everyone, including his sister Alexandra (MISSI PYLE) and many of the other local girls, don't give them or their music any respect.

That changes when record manager Wyatt Frame (ALAN CUMMING) stumbles across them while looking for a new act after recently dumping his boy band, Dujour, when they started asking too many questions about their music. Although he's never seen them play nor heard their songs, Wyatt - who's under orders by Mega Records CEO Fiona (PARKER POSEY) to find a replacement band as soon as possible - signs them up and the girls and their songs are suddenly shot to the top of the charts thanks to Mega Records's marketing prowess.

In doing so, Wyatt decides that Josie, the lead singer, should be the band's leader, a point that doesn't sit well with Val, the bass player, but makes little difference to Mel, the ditsy drummer. Soon dissension begins to set in within the band, and Josie discovers that she no longer has time for her hometown friend and potential boyfriend, Alan M. (GABRIEL MANN).

The girls eventually realize, however, that Fiona and Wyatt have been inserting subliminal messages in their songs - in conjunction with the U.S. Government - to stimulate the economy by having their audience buy their records along with any other products or fads they decide to introduce. From that point on, the girls must contend with their new feelings for one another, their music, and the evil recording industry that wants to silence them now that the girls are wise to their marketing secret.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
It's a good bet that many pre-teen and young teenage girls will want to see it, as might any kids who are otherwise fans of someone in the cast.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For language and sensuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • RACHAEL LEIGH COOK plays the lead singer and guitarist for the band who's singled out to become its leader. She does adopt something of a diva attitude along the way, but only because of the subliminal messages that have encouraged her to do so.
  • TARA REID plays the band's ditsy drummer.
  • ROSARIO DAWSON plays the bass player who becomes disturbed with the process of Josie being chosen to be the band's star.
  • PARKER POSEY plays the near manic head of the record label who's involved in influencing teen's buying trends by inserting subliminal messages into the music they listen to. Once she knows that the girl band has learned of their tactics, she orders for them to be silenced. She also uses some profanity.
  • ALAN CUMMING plays Fiona's field agent and band manager whose job is to recruit and then manage new bands, as well as insert subliminal messages into their music. He uses some brief profanity.
  • GABRIEL MANN plays a hometown boy who's smitten with Josie.
  • PAULO COSTANZO plays the band's initial manager.
  • MISSI PYLE plays his socially maladroit sister who's initially demeaning to the band and their music.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this comedy adventure that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of what sounded liked 1 "f" word along with other expletives (including several uses of the word, "p*ssy," in double meanings), while various colorful phrases are also used.

    There's a briefly sensuous moment between a young man and woman (they later briefly make out in another scene), while another woman jealously accuses that same woman of sleeping with someone else (she didn't). A few women wear revealing clothing, a man is seen standing nude with just a guitar covering his crotch, and a song's title, "Backdoor Lover," could be viewed as making joking/subtle connotations about anal sex (then again, it could just be mocking the Backstreet Boys).

    Violence consists of several characters hitting or briefly fighting with others, and two men coming after some young women with baseball bats (although it's all played in a light-hearted/comic fashion) after being ordered to do so by a character who, along with others, displays some bad attitudes toward others.

    Beyond that, there's some brief drinking, but the rest of the film's remaining categories have little or nothing in the way of major objectionable content. Nevertheless, should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for anyone in your home (such as with some of the profanity/language that's played to be both innocent and somewhat risqué), we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what occurs during it.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see some champagne on a boy band's plane.
  • Upon hearing some subliminal messages, one young man states that he wants to buy a six-pack of Zima, with his friend reminding him that he doesn't drink.
  • Fiona briefly mentions rock musicians overdosing on drugs (meaning what happens to them if they try to talk about what she and the government are doing as far as inserting subliminal messages into music).
  • People at a reception, including Wyatt, drink champagne.
  • Some miscellaneous people drink in a bar.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A member of a boy band has some dried, bloody cuts on his face.
  • We see a person with some minor bruises/cuts on his face.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Fiona, Wyatt and everyone else associated with the mind control-based subliminal messaging have both. They also get rid of (or at least try to get rid of) any band member who becomes too nosy or negative. In one such instance, Wyatt and the pilot of a plane carrying a boy band parachute out, thus hoping that the band will die in a fiery plane crash (but they survive).
  • Some local girls are disrespectful/make fun of the Pussycats and their attempts to be a rock band.
  • Wyatt is condescending toward Alan and later lies to Josie about Alan calling and canceling their plans to get together.
  • Two men, one of them the real Carson Daly from MTV and both working for Fiona, try to kill Val and Melody with baseball bats.
  • Josie acts like a condescending diva toward Val and Melody, but only because she's been brainwashed by some subliminal messages into thinking that way.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • A few scenes, such as Melody suddenly finding a warning message on her bathroom mirror, mock similar ones from horror films (with similarly mocked, suspenseful music), but it's doubtful that many will find those scenes as suspenseful.
  • The same holds true for a scene where two men, one of them the real Carson Daly from MTV and both working for Fiona, try to kill Val and Melody with baseball bats. Accordingly, they chase them around a set, occasionally swinging those bats at them. Melody eventually clocks Carson over the head with a cardboard cutout, sending him falling over a railing (we later see him in a cast/sling with some bruises/cuts on his face).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Baseball bats: Used by two men while trying to kill Val and Melody.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Holy sh*t," "That d*ck," "Bite me," "Working my butt off," "You suck," "Screw up," "Ass kicking," "Kiss your ass," "Bitchy McBitch," "It sucked," "You should kiss my cellulite-free ass," "Who the hell are you?" "They beat the crap out of us," "You messed with the wrong p*ssy" (what one of the girls says to the bad guys), "You bitch," "White ass," "Freaks," "Whack job," "Oh, Jeez" and "You bastard."
  • Some young girls might want to imitate the fashion-conscious clothing the pussycats wear, including some midriff-barring tops, and/or form a similar band of their own.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of playfully suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song performed by the boy band, Dujour is entitled, "Backdoor Lover," and could be a subtle (or not so subtle) reference to/joke about anal sex (with lyrics like "I'm your backdoor lover, coming from behind, oh yeah…") or it could be one of those songs that can be viewed in more than one way (including a jab at the Backstreet Boys).
  • PROFANITY
  • What sounded like 1 "f" word, 1 "s" word (and what sounded like another one with two additional ones partially bleeped out), 2 slang terms involving female genitals ("p*ssy" - with 1 written on a sign that isn't initially seen in its entirety of reading "pussycats," and another included in the line, "You messed with the wrong p*ssy," also referring to the name of the band), 1 slang term using male genitals ("d*ck"), 9 asses, 3 damns, 2 craps, 1 hell, 11 uses of "Oh my God," 2 each of "God" and "Oh God" and 1 use of "My God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • A song performed by the boy band, Dujour is entitled, "Backdoor Lover," that could be a subtle (or not so subtle) reference to/joke about to anal sex (then again, it could just be mocking the Backstreet Boys).
  • Various women show varying amounts of cleavage during the film, including the three main women (especially Melody).
  • During a montage, we see Melody holding up a partially blocked sign that says "Honk if you love pussy" and she then moves it to reveal its full message, "Honk if you love the pussycats."
  • We briefly see a woman in a small bikini in a taped promo piece.
  • We see Melody taking a shower, but don't see anything explicit as the shot is from the shoulders and up.
  • Josie wears a dress with no back, a high slit, and a very low-cut front. Alan then sees her in it and is blown away by it. She then asks him to attach a small chain from her neck-wrap down to the body of dress just at the top of her rear end, and this gets him all hot and bothered and he sensuously runs his hand up her back before they're interrupted by Wyatt.
  • After Alexandra hears Mr. Movie Phone's voice doing the subliminal message aimed at Josie, she wonders how she got him to do it and then accuses her, "You slept with him!" (This is heard again during the outtakes section of the closing credits).
  • We see the band's manager standing completely nude with just a guitar covering his crotch area.
  • Josie and Alan briefly make out on stage during a concert while everyone watches.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The product placement exhibited throughout the film.
  • The point the film makes about teens not succumbing to market pressure and making decisions for themselves.
  • The use of subliminal messages in the media.
  • The way success began to divide the group through jealousy, etc.
  • Girl bands.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Little, if any of what's listed below is portrayed in realistic/graphic fashion.
  • Various members of a boy band go at each other on their plane and have to be separated, but no punching or other such contact occurs although there's some brief tussling.
  • Wyatt and a pilot parachute from a plane carrying a boy band, hoping that the band will perish in an out of control plane crash (but they survive that, although we learn they were roughed up upon landing in an angry mob at a Metallica concert - which is not seen, although we later see the band members either in full body casts or with some brief cuts on their face, etc.).
  • A car crashes into the back of another when a sign that Melody's holding distracts the drivers.
  • We briefly see filmed footage of a small plane crashing into a rocky mountainside and exploding (as part of Fiona's demo to foreign investors/leaders).
  • Two men, one of them the real Carson Daly from MTV and both working for Fiona, try to kill Val and Melody with baseball bats. Accordingly, they chase them around a set, occasionally swinging those bats at them. Melody eventually clocks Carson on the head with a cardboard cutout, sending him falling over a railing (we later see him in a cast/sling with some bruises/cuts on his face).
  • We see a car burning on a faked tape that shows Val and Melody's implied future deaths if Josie doesn't agree to perform in concert (meaning Fiona is threatening them with death if she doesn't participate).
  • One member of a boy band throws something backwards that accidentally hits another member - encased in a full body cast - knocking him over.
  • Josie jumps on Fiona and they briefly struggle on a table, Val punches Wyatt several times in the gut, and Melody punches some guy trying to do some martial arts moves on her.
  • Josie then grabs Fiona by the hair and the two get into a tussle where they slap each other's hands, while Val sends Wyatt into a rope and then clotheslines him when he bounces off it. Fiona then tries to hit Josie with a guitar, but hits a special sound mixer instead, destroying it.



  • Reviewed April 5, 2001 / Posted April 11, 2001

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