Welcome to The Daily Cup a movie blog/writing project by Kyle B. Dekker, presented by Hot Chocolate Media. You can read series concept here. The basic rules, Kyle must watch 365 movies in 2018 and write about all of them. 292 of them have to be movies he's never seen before. Thanks for reading.
There are some movies that occupy a space in my mind where I just assume they are bad. Often they came out when I was younger and the reviews of them were bad so I skipped them. If they were short lived in their media coverage because they were box office flops, I rarely go back and get a chance to watch them and judge them on their own merit. Every once in a while I’m able to discover one of these films a find out that I missed out on something pretty great. Josie and the Pussycats (2001) is a delightful movie that was savaged upon its release by critics and audiences, and that’s a shame.
Nominally this film is about the all girl rock band in the Archie comics universe. And yes the characters are from RIverdale, and they are still named Josie (Rachael Leigh Cook), Valerie (Rosario Dawson), and Melody (Tara Reid). From that anchored bit of comic history, the rest of the film is a fantastic tongue-in-cheek satire of teen consumer culture in the late 90s/early 00s. It’s such a slick spoof that I think critics and audiences at the time just missed the point as culture it spoofed was still in full swing.
The humor of this film is fantastic. The opening of the movie features the boy band Du Jour (which means prologue) singing their hit song “Backdoor Lover.” How anyone missed that this film is a satire is beyond me, they open with a pop song about butt stuff. After the members of Du Jour (which means parody) point out to their manager Wyatt (Alan Cummings) that they noticed an odd subliminal message track in their songs, Wyatt orders the pilot to crash the plane (after Wyatt and the pilot parachute out) using the code phrase “take the Chevy to the Levy.” I was 100% on board after that open and was not disappointed. The sharp humor continues throughout as you are treated to fantastic joke after joke the rest of the way. The running gag of gratuitous product placement is both hilarious and a constant reminded that consumer culture is dumb.
The cast is really strong overall. The villain duo of Alan Cumming and Parker Posey (as a maniacal recording executive) are stellar, their on screen charisma and comedic timing are top notch throughout. Rachael Leigh cook is equally funny and adorable as the titular character, and young Rosario Dawson demonstrates why she is one of the best actors working today. The only weak performance comes from Tara Reid, but it’s hardly bad. Big plus points for me as Missi Pyle (one of my favorite comedic actors) plays Alexandra Cabot and is a delight.
If you missed this one when it came out years ago like I did, do yourself a favor and check it out. This is a hilariously fun satire that nails the vapidness of late 90s pop culture while also telling an interesting story with characters you care about. The music is pure sweet lady-rock awesomeness, and the jokes are killer. Josie and the Pussycats deserves to be remembered as one of the best comedies of the early 2000s.
Movies new to me watched: 36/292
Other movies: 9/73
Total movies watched: 45/365
Have your own thoughts or opinions on this movie? Comment below or contact Kyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @kbdekker.