scott pilgrim vs. the world vs. josie and the pussycats

by alanm

There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who have seen the 2010 cult classic movie Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and those who haven’t. Within that demographic, some have seen the 2001 cult classic movie Josie and the Pussycats. And then, in the final elite subset, there are those who realize the world would be a better place if Josie occupied the cultural niche Scott does and those who are blind. 

Some cinematically naive readers may be wondering, “Why are you even comparing these movies? I’ve never even seen Josie and the Pussycats. What is that, a girl movie?”. The typical ignorance of a Pilgrim hardliner.

These movies share a peculiar number of similarities. Both are time capsules of their respective eras, both were adapted from comic book franchises, and both revolve around alternative rock band members trying to navigate life and success. Where they drastically divert are the vehicles and goals of their morals.

Let’s start with the protagonists. It’s astounding the degree to which Scott is the quintessential whiny loser. He’s dating a high schooler to cope with his successful ex-girlfriend, is an average at best bassist, and just thinks the world owes him something. This entire movie is just Scott complaining that the adult woman he went on three dates with had past relationships. If he was a real person alive today, he would probably be trying to get his free-form comedy podcast off the ground, launching a $10 Patreon at 13 listeners. 

Josie, on the other hand, is a role model, something for the kids. The guitarist (and lead singer) of her band had great romantic instincts (Alan M. is the sweet, dumb hunk we all secretly dream of) and never lets her ego get out of control. Even when she is thrust into the spotlight, her humility and commitment to her friends are always at a tender level of cheesiness. Josie battles evil record executives because they are agents of monoculture and consumerism; Scott fights them because he needs to be in a toxic relationship with Ramona.

I guess this is Tunes, so I should probably get to the music. Call me crazy, but Scott Pilgrim takes the cake. The movie opens with the explosive “Launchpad McQuack,” a relentless garage-rock rager. The battle of the bands is a great concept that results in a fantastic synergy between audio and visual (A/V?). Who can forget the Michael Cera look on in horror as Brie Larson tears the house down performing “Black Sheep”?

The Pussycats soundtrack is definitely decent! “3 Small Words” really does make me feel like a punk rock prom queen. The whole album does feel very one-note sonically, but I felt compelled to purchase an array of products. Unfortunately, the pop-punk genre does not provide me with inspiration. I see this as yet another testament to the Pilgrim-induced brain rot I’ve suffered over the years. 

Josie and the Pussycats is an over-the-top satire, tackling issues ranging from sexism and racism in the music industry to sprawling international cultural conspiracies. In the end, Josie, Mel, and Val show the brainwashed youth of America that it’s ok to be different, that you should live to be the best, most authentic version of yourself. 

Alternatively, Scott delivers a melodramatic speech to Ramona, preventing her from starting a new life in New York City. When her mind control device is finally deactivated (I mean, why else would she not want to date Scott), they get very hipster happily ever after. The moral of the story is that through hyper-condensed, surface-level personal development, all of your past mistakes will be exonerated. It is irresponsible, downright dangerous to show this movie to teenagers. We cannot breed another generation of man-children who emotionally implode at the mere sight of hair dye. By amplifying the Pussycat Renaissance, the next generation can learn from the mistakes we’ve made. 

Categories: march 23 2021, tunes

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