***/**** Image A- Sound B+ Extras B-
starring Rachael Leigh Cook, Tara Reid, Rosario Dawson, Alan Cumming
written and directed by Deborah Kaplan & Harry Elfont
by Bill Chambers I have this sinking feeling that the adolescent demographic--the studio's target audience, not that of filmmakers Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont--resented Josie and the Pussycats because it portrays them as sheep, but the film gives young adults far more credit than I do in blaming the herd mentality on a subliminal technology. Josie and the Pussycats' formulaic narrative settles on a girl group's internal rivalry that a scheming handler (Alan Cumming) puppeteers (for no good reason, when one stops to think about it), though keen, enthusiastic performances paint over lapses in ingenuity. For the record: Tara Reid, as dumb Pussycat drummer Melody, makes off with the best lines (wait 'til you hear what she'd do if she could travel through time); Cumming is note-perfect; and Parker Posey wins us over through sheer force of will as the deranged head of fictitious Mega Records.