Create your balance. Design your life.

The Cat’s Meow

Riverdale. A small town that could be located anywhere. This is where we meet The Pussycats (Josie McCoy, Valerie Brown and Melody Valentine) a 3 girl rock band. Like many young ladies that are college age they share a house, their lives and have big hopes and dreams of a future in the music industry. These girls are good…really good. Sadly living in the town that they do, the girls are getting nowhere. One night by chance they  meet Wyatt Frame, an executive for Mega Records. He is going to offer these ladies the chance of a lifetime and their lives will be changed forever. On the flight to the big city and their dream come true, they promise one another that they will always be friends first and a band second. As the events of this story unfold this will be put to the test as the record company pushes Josie to the forefront of the band and the girls uncover a plot by Mega Records to plant subliminal messages in the music. The girls make a desperate scramble to stop this plot to brainwash teenagers into doing just what the messages tell them.  The question is:  Will it cost them their friendship or quite possibly, their lives? Sit back and enjoy a very funny parody of the world of music and fame. This is Movie Bad Girl of the Week. Now I proudly introduce: “Josie and the Pussycats”

Rachael Leigh Cook, Rosario Dawson and Tara Reid rock out as the all girl band in "Josie and the Pussycats"

Rachael Leigh Cook, Rosario Dawson and Tara Reid rock out as the all girl band in “Josie and the Pussycats”

 

Josie McCoy (Lead Vocals & Guitar) 

Rachael Leigh Cook as Josie

Rachael Leigh Cook as Josie

Josie is the lead singer for “The Pussycats” She is a vivacious young woman who loves life and is a rock star at heart already. She works more than one job to pay bills and is one of those young women that has learned to take care of herself. This is evidenced when she throws open the hood of the vehicle owned by Alan M. (the  guy she has a huge crush on) and she repairs his vehicle for him. She is always working on a look for herself and working with her girlfriends on the lyrics to songs. She can get frustrated on occasion but gets past it quickly with the help of Val and Mel. She tells them they can’t just sit around waiting for things to happen. They need to go out a reach for the dream if they are ever going to reach their goal. That night they have their chance encounter and everything moves very quickly from that point on. The record company makes the decision to rename the band Josie and the Pussycats because she is the lead singer and they figure the teens out there will want someone to identify with. A rift starts between the girls and will reach comic proportions. Josie could care less if her name is at the top, she just wants to share their music with the world and that is all that matters to her. The execs at the record company work on Josie ( in an attempt to remove the other 2 ladies) into believing that she is the star and Valarie and Melody are merely back-up. Their plan works for a brief time as Josie loses touch with who she is. She comes to her senses and she along with the girls will take on the executives and their twisted plot of selling merchandise and controlling fads through subliminal messages in their music. It will threaten the girls very lives but they will band together and fight no matter what the consequence because what they know it is the right thing to do.

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What can we learn from Josie?

In life we have to do what we have to do to get by even if it means working more than one job and still having little to no money. However, you need a balance so you take time for your own pursuits. It could be music or writing or even a cooking class where you learn to make culinary delights. The point is we all have a hobby or passion and we should always push forward reaching for that desire. Josie balances this yet again taking time away from both to have a social life and fun which is equally important to being well rounded and happy. She has drive and ambition and thinks outside the box. Her theory “We need to make it happen” is very true. Nothing worth having in life is handed to us. We need to work in order to achieve our goals.

What we should not do (and Josie does this briefly) is get to full of ourselves when others are involved. It doesn’t matter if it is a project at work or something you and friends or family are working on. It takes everyone of to make it happen even if you are each involved to a different degree. If you are that hard-working, industrious and talented give it a go by yourself and see how that works out for you.  Not a single one of us is entitled to be vain because we all excel at different things. None of us can do it all (or at least do it all well) so stay grounded and remember that in a group effort every member is an important and integral part of the final product.

Josie comes back to her senses and all that matters to her is that she loves her friends and that they make fabulous music together. The message here is that love and friendship is worth more than any amount of money or fame. If you are one of those very lucky few that make it be sure it is with integrity and honesty in all your dealings.

Rosario Dawson as Valerie

Rosario Dawson as Valerie

    

Valerie Brown (Bass)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valerie is the most grounded and down to earth member of the trio. She is also mature beyond her years. We see Valerie is quite different from Josie as we peek in on her reading to kids in the library, collecting items for a food drive and we learn she is quite athletic. She is the girl that offers positive re-enforcement when the Pussycats get down about where their music is (or rather is not) going at the moment. From the moment they meet Wyatt her mind starts going because deep down she knows this is way too easy. Her sense of paranoia builds through-out the film as she sees everything turning Josie. She is partially right, about the execs, but is way off when it comes to her friend. She also has a low self-esteem believing that no one thinks she should be there. Val sees things in black and white and is straightforward and to the point.  It is her friendship with Josie that will be put to the test when everything goes wrong but deep down she knows that their love for each other is stronger than any music or record contracts. When this girl fights back she goes right after the source of what she believes is their trouble: Wyatt Frame.

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What can we learn from Valerie?

We all need to be grounded to some degree. It is okay to have big dreams, however, they need to be approached in realistic fashion. There are steps you need to take to get there and if it sounds to good to be true…There is no crime in being mature around people. You can be the voice of reason and if things get to a level you deem silly or childish, just take a step back. Sometimes our esteem is low. It should never be. We are all beautiful and do belong being exactly who we are.When that voice speaks up remind yourself of this and push it aside.Find a cause that means something to you and donate time. It can be anything  you believe in. Volunteering yourself to causes that are near and dear to your heart not only make you feel good, it also will help people, animals or whatever else is at the heart of the organization you give your time to. It is also important to get some exercise even if you are not as athletic as Val. It can be swimming a few laps in a pool or walking around a track. It is good for you and will increase your daily energy. It is a loving and kind act to offer some re-enforcement when someone around you is down about something. Sometimes a smile is all it takes. It exerts no real effort and can make a huge difference in someone’s day. Val gets very paranoid in the movie and some of it is for legitimate reasons. We all tend to get a little paranoid now and then but stop and ask yourself if you are making it far worse than it really is or is it that little voice we all have sending out a warning. That little voice is usually right. The people you care about that are true family and friends will not desert you and you should never desert them.  That is probably the biggest lesson. Love and loyalty is something you can not put a price on.

 

 

Melody Valentine (Drums) 

Tara Reid as Melody Valentine.

Tara Reid as Melody

Melody takes perky to an new level. This Pussycat lives in a world of sunshine and rainbows. She has a childlike wonder in her love of life and believes that the world is a beautiful place where bad things shouldn’t happen. She is the eternal optimist and free-spirit of the group standing by roadsides with signs proclaiming “Honk if you love rainbows” “Honk if you love pussycats” etc. She is an animal lover and would bring home a stray grizzly bear if she happened to somehow see one wandering down the road and thought it looked lonely, sad or unloved. She is also a vegetarian. She is what I would consider a modern day flower child and watching the movie you love her for that. She cannot believe anyone at the record company would threaten their friendships or lives. She thinks it is a joke when she is told she is going to be killed although the threat is very real. Even after this incident occurs she can’t fathom that the exes at Mega Records set the whole thing up to eliminate “The Pussycats” and just have “Josie” Later when her life is threatened a second time she believes that one of them has won a car. Her eyes open when she realizes that the car is meant to be a deathtrap for her and Val and that the world can be an ugly place. Josie of course agrees to do what the record company wants because she loves her friends. Melody happily proclaims to Val (who is thinking Josie could care less about them) “See Val, she still likes us!” We then see that Melody has another side and is quite a fighter taking down a muscular man on her own while looking at the next one asking if he wants some. Although she seems like a total ditz she has a strong sense of intuition that is dead on.

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What can we learn from Melody?

Life is too short not to be happy. As we get older we tend to lose the sense of wonder that we have in our younger years as we become involved in work and family. Life has so many stresses and stress is a killer. Now and then take a moment to find amazement and beauty in something new or something that you really enjoy that you may not have done for a long time (I don’t care if that means reclining in a hot bath, sipping a glass of wine and discovering a new novel) Just do it! This week promise yourself that. We know that life can be tough and bad things can and do happen. Take a moment to let yourself believe in all that is good and find some beauty in the world around you. Be optimistic (people pick on me for being too optimistic at times) I believe all things are possible, we just have to work at it. Negativity will drag you down and no one needs that. Look forward and get through the rough times so you can enjoy the good. It is great to love people and life,  just don’t bring a grizzly bear home because it looks lonely and don’t become an animal hoarder. Volunteer at a shelter and help those homeless animals get homes. Food choices are very important. I myself am vegetarian like Mel. Others are not. It is really just a case of making good food choices for yourself. No matter how we appear to people there are always things that people have not discovered about you. In the case of Melody people see an air head when in fact she has incredible insight to people and is one hell of a fighter. The thing here is that people may underestimate you but deep down you know who you really are and from time to time you should show the world that there is more to you than they may think.

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There you go. Three young women, all friends, all very different and all providing balance with each other. This movie is family friendly with some mild profanity so you can watch it with the kids. I think this movie would be great for moms with girls that are 10 up into their early teens. Watch the movie and discuss how different the girls all are just like they and their friends are in real life. Until next week Embrace Your Inner Bad Girl because being bad is feels like being a Rock Star!  And for younger readers out there. Once upon a time these girls were comic book/cartoon characters that some of us grew up with.

Josie and the Pussycats then....

Josie and the Pussycats then….

and now.

and now.

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