Podgodz 235: AOL Keyword Josie and the Pussycats
Recorded 7 March 2017
Snow in March? Why the F not
Josie and the Pussycats (2001) written and directed by Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont staring Racheal Leigh Cook, Rosario Dawson, Tara Reid, Alan Cummings, and Parker Posey.
A tragically mismarketed movie that flopped at the box office that I found in the most curious of ways. It’s also only 98 fucking minutes long, so Gio has to watch it TWICE
So I found this movie from the soundtrack, in a round about way, that did better than the movie. The disc I got was mailed from my sister in England who picked it up from the BBC WS Gramophone library disposal bin. I listened to it and really liked it. I kept listening to it so eventually figured I should rent the movie from Rogers Video, after all I had one of those coupons for something like 10 week-long rentals for $5.
Turns out I loved the movie. I remember it being marketed as a movie for screamy boy and girl band enthusiasts. At the time I would have still been listening to Alt rock, I was not a fan of boy bands.
Off all the things in the movie, it’s the fashion that doesn’t hold up. Everything is shiny and I don’t remember everyone always wearing lucite platform stripper shoes nor do I remember seeing those tops that end up being completely backless being that common outside of TV and was it just me, or was every pair of pants just above pubic level?
The music does hold up well. It was produced by Babyface Edmonds who decided to craft a real band. On vocals and guitar was Kay Hanley of Letters from Cleo, her then husband and bandmate Michael Eisenstein also has writing credits so also likely was a member. Big Naked seems to have been on as a performer, so probably backup vocals and also guitar. Other credits go to Matthew Sweet, Adam Duritz (Counting Crows), Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne) and even Jane Weidlin of the GoGos. The voices of DuJour are J’Son Thomas and John Stephan.
One thing that has now been lost to the whim of the internet, there was an IMDB discussion of the DuJour song Backdoor Lover, of course being completely about anal sex and one or two people arguing that it totally was not, just about someone sneaking in through your back door, it isn’t a sin and it doesn’t make me gay. Oddly, the other song Around the World is also a then obscure porn term for getting your ass eaten – which was not so common then. We are talking premo Bankok brothel level.
I would say the cast is great, the acting is great, the music is great, the script is good. The direction is mostly great, some of the stylized parts don’t hold up and that maybe had the budget been a little bigger they could have beefed it up a little to remove a little bit of the filler which might not be the best thing to say about a 90 minute movie.
Squabbling boy band DuJour (Breckin Meyer, Seth Green, Donald Faison, and Alexander Martin) has discovered something so horrible that the record company executive Wyatt , Alan Cumming, has to kill them. The hunt for a replacement finds him in Riverdale almost running over the titular Pussycats.
We are introduced to their weird manager Alexander, Paul Costanzo, and sister Alexandra, Missi Pyle and Alan M, Gabriel Mann, as Josie’s erstwhile romancing interest. They get taken to the big city, meet insane record executive Fiona, Parker Posey, who is secretly inserting subliminal messages to control and extract the whim of teenagers on behalf of industry and the government since the 50s. When acts become trouble they tragically die, overdose, or find god.
The Pussycats become Josie and the Pussycats. The band breaks up then makes up just in time for the concert at the end, being saved by an unseen force, breaking the gears of the machine.
The movie skewers consumer culture and the ever changing whims of teenagers – yet that is who they marketed to.
In Two weeks time, episode 237, Gio and Lax watch shit will probably be something horrible from Gio.
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Time to put the Crown Royal sack back on the microphone.