Josie and the Pussycats

  • Review Date: May 20, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2001
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Movie rates itself out of an ideal audience.
  • Review Date: May 20, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2001
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Violence

Comic peril.

Sex

Sexual insults.

Language

Some strong language.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that without the rough language that secured this movie's PG-13 rating, the ideal audience for this movie would be that neglected category of 7-12 year old girls, who might find it fun to see Barbie dolls come to life and who might find the message of loyalty and independence empowering. But the language gives it a sour overtone that makes it inappropriate for that group as well.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Josie (Rachel Leigh Cook), Val (Rosario Dawson), and Melanie (Tara Reid) are an all-for-one and one-for-all band, playing the Riverdale bowling alley and dreaming of the big time. They are discovered by record producer Wyatt Frame (Alan Cummings), who signs them without even hearing them play. It turns out that it does not matter what they sound like. Wyatt and his boss, Fiona (Parker Posey) use pop music only as a cover for their plan of total world domination. They have perfected a system of subliminal messages that force teenagers to buy whatever they tell them to.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

There is a way to put a little post-modern edge on a cheesy series from the childhood of today's 20-somethings. But that requires a wit and complexity that is far beyond the folks who put JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS together. Their idea of making it appealing to teenagers is to have one character explain that she is there "because I'm in the comic book!" and to make the band's name into a double entendre. And the half-hearted lesson about the importance of thinking for yourself and the evils of the military-industrial complex are smirkingly undercut with the greatest cacophony of product placement in the history of the movies. There are issues of Vogue with less advertising than we have to watch in this movie.

There are a couple of funny jokes, especially when Fiona explains what happens to pop stars who don't go along with her plans (they end up on VH1's "Behind the Music") and when Tara Reid's real-life fiancé, MTV-hunk Carson Daly, chases her around a set trying to kill her. Posey and Cummings are always watchable. And the music is surprisingly good, well-produced and catchy. But the Pussycats are dreary, especially the lackluster Cook. We know Reid can do better, but with the thankless task of appearing as a girl so dumb that she sings "If You're Happy and You Know It" in the shower, dropping the soap every time she claps her hands, she has an impossible task.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why teenagers seem to want to conform, and how they can make sure that they decide what they like and don't like and want and don't want based on what is right for them and not on what the rest of the group is doing. They should also talk about the messages we all get about what to buy and how we respond to them.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 11, 2001
DVD release date:August 14, 2001
Cast:Rachael Leigh Cook, Rosario Dawson, Tara Reid
Director:Harry Elfont
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Run time:98 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:language and mild sensuality

This review of Josie and the Pussycats was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bykalessaradan September 14, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Done on purpose...

Did any of the reviewers actually understand this movie? The BIG punchline at the end of the movie explains why there are product placements throughout the entire movie... and if you missed that clue, watch the director's commentary. Yes, there are product placements, but that is the POINT of the movie.
Adult Written bySHMATAL August 22, 2011
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Josie and stuff

i think it was ok
Teen, 15 years old Written bytalkalot_360 July 26, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Product placement Product placement Product placement

So much consumerism and it gets VERY annoying VERY fast. This movie was just one big commercial! In the opening scene the boy band is in a Target airplane. There are just banners of brands like Kodak and MANY more. In one scene the blonde girl is seen with McDonals. Way too much consumerism.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism

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