The Making of the Bland

The corporate machine behind Josie and the Pussycats, both in real life and in this movie, has made a number of calculating judgments regarding its product.

Yes, there is an intended dualism between reality and the reality of the movie - in both cases there's a certain manipulation of the market for the sake of commerce. What's unintended is that the movie just isn't that interesting.

Okay, I'll acknowledge that you could make an amusing trailer out of bits and pieces of the movie (maybe they did, I'm not sure I ever saw it). The bit about the Target plane carrying the boy band DuJour is wonderful. I'd really have been much more interested in their antics than those of the Pussycats. It's often easier to be funny when you just embrace the target of ridicule. Whether accurate or not, these boys match up with the average perception of what people think about boy bands. Our girl band is composed of superhumans, for sure, but the sentimentality and role model behavior makes them much less interesting to watch.

What surprises me is wondering what brought Parker Posey and Alan Cumming to the project. Both have typically made pretty good career decisions in the past, but it's hard for me to imagine the script reading any better than the final product. They get to do some slightly more interesting things in their supporting roles, but we seem to be in pad-the-resume territory.

DuJour is played by Breckin Meyer, Seth Green, and Donald Faison, who all have respectable comedy credits - and then there's some guy Alexander Martin who might have ended up as their version of Spinal Tap's drummer if they'd been on screen long enough. Their screen time is even much less than Posey and Cumming. Oh well.

And then there are those Pussycats. Who are they? Let's see - Rachel Leigh Cook, Tara Reid, and Rosario Dawson. All young up-and-comers. I think I'll reserve any judgments on their abilities for the films that actually give them material from which to work off. Okay, I'll mention Tara Reid makes a pretty good ditz, but the other two are given characters too middle-of-the-road to even contemplate.

Like a glass of warm milk, Josie, et al, will lull you away to sleep, not unpleasantly, but with thoughts that will hardly matter to you a few minutes from now.

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