Josie and the Pussycats may seem like just another fun-filled teen movie, but it's so much deeper than that. It's not just the all-star cast, which includes Rachel Leigh Cook, Tara Reid, and Rosario Dawson, that makes Pussycats so amazing. The film touches on loaded themes such as consumerism and celebrity, media manipulation, and the price of fame all while doling out endless bops.
The film is a loose adaptation of the Josie and the Pussycats Hanna-Barbera comics. The 2001 movie takes elements of the comic books and gives them new life. Unfortunately, this film was a true box office bomb, raking in only $14.9 million with a production budget of $39 million. The soundtrack, however, went gold, selling over 500,000 copies.
While Josie and the Pussycats is one of those movies you can mindlessly watch over and over again, it also tackles big issues that seem all the more relevant today.
It Attempts To Explain All Those Seemingly Random Celebrity Deaths
In the beginning of the film, members of a boy band named Du Jour — played by Donald Faison and Seth Green — discover a subliminal message placed in their song. After they learn the truth, Wyatt and the pilot parachute from the plane, leaving the boy band members to die in the subsequent crash. This plot point is an attempt to account for seemingly accidental celebrity deaths, implying that they were killed once they rebelled against their music being used to push consumerism.
In the end, the members of Du Jour grounded the plane and survived. However, they unfortunately landed in the middle of a Metallica concert, where Metallica fans beat them up. It’s a subtle nod towards the climate in the music industry at the time as many music fans had a strong distaste for pop boy bands on the rise.121Agree or Disagree?
It Explores The Question Of What People Are Willing To Sacrifice For Fame
Like many films about stars rising to the top, Josie and the Pussycats seeks to examine just what people are willing to sacrifice for fame. Band mates Josie, Melody, and Valerie briefly lose their bond to one another when Josie is primed to go solo. But in the end the girls aren't willing to lose their friendship for fame.
Furthermore, the end of the film sees villain Fiona break down in tears as she reveals that in high school she was an outcast. It seems her need for popularity and control stems from her awful teenage years. The film also questions our desire for popularity and as well as its authenticity. Fiona was not genuinely popular as a music producer, nor was the Pussycats's music; teens only loved it because of the subliminal messaging that told them they should.122Agree or Disagree?
It’s A Movie About Subliminal Messaging With Subliminal Messages In It
The plot of Josie and the Pussycats revolves around music executives placing subliminal messages into pop music to turn teens into voracious consumers. The plot satirically mocks the way teens jump from one trend to another and how they often worship celebrities.
Not only does the movie eschew subliminal messages, it pokes fun at it in within the universe of the Pussycats. The film advertises products for major companies like Target, McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Coke, which becomes a hilarious running gag throughout the movie especially when you learn that companies didn't even pay the movie to place their products in the film. It conveys the idea that subliminal messages are evil while ironically broadcasting exaggerated, not-so-subliminal messages to its audience.92Agree or Disagree?
There Is Real Economic Theory Behind The Movie
At the center of this film is an actual economic theory. Yes, seriously. Wyatt and Fiona are in cahoots with the government — their subliminal messaging is implemented to help ramp up the economy. This scheme draws on the theory that the economy grows too slowly when you rely on adults to spend more money since they have bills to pay as well as other financial responsibilities. Therefore, the best group to target is teens, as they have disposable income. Marketing to teens has been practiced for quite some time because hooking a teen increases the likelihood that you have a lifelong customer. From an economic and marketing standpoint, there is real value in the idea that teens are the best group to market toward.60Agree or Disagree?