14Josie and the Pussycats

Josie and the Pussycats cast

Josie and the Pussycats is based on a cartoon from the 1970s that was...not great. Why the writing and directing team of Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan decided to make a big screen adaptation in 2001 is anybody's guess. To their credit, they took a lump of coal and turned

it into, well, not quite a diamond, but certainly something better than coal. The movie follows an all-girl rock band (Rachael Leigh Cook, Tara Reid, and Rosario Dawson) as they take on a sinister record company CEO who plans to put subliminal messages into pop music, thereby controlling the consumer impulses of America's adolescents and creating "a new trend every week."

Josie and the Pussycats is not just a live-action version of a cartoon, it's also a stinging satire of pop culture consumerism. The joke is that teenagers are all too willing to buy whatever they're sold, so long as they are convinced the product will make them cool. In the end, Josie and the girls decide to make music their own way, and let others decide for themselves whether it's any good. If there's a message to be found here, and there certainly is, it's that thinking for oneself is infinitely cooler than being force-fed an opinion by a corporate marketing department.

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