It’s become kind of common for movies that were reviled when they first released to be loved and admired years later when they’ve either become a cult classic or been embraced thanks to nostalgia. Some actors might regret the roles they took on for said movies, but Rachael Leigh Cook has made it clear that Josie and the Pussycats wasn’t a waste of time for her, or her costars since it did turn out to be a good representation of the comic book trio that’s been around for far longer than the actual movie. Back when the movie came out, Cook and her costars, Tara Reid and Rosario Dawson, were all sitting pretty when it came to their careers, but a few bad reviews later all three of them were being forced to scramble a bit to get back on steady ground since Josie and the Pussycats was deemed one of the worst movies of the year. There were a few reasons given for this, but one of them feels to be that it was just bad timing, even though the movie that several people felt they ripped off, Spice World, had come out three years prior. The girl-band feel was something that a lot of people were getting tired of, and the effect kind of fell flat coming out of the gate since it didn’t resonate with a lot of folks on the level that was needed to make it a huge hit. Even now a lot of people might laugh if anyone decided to state that Josie and the Pussycats was a great movie, but nostalgia is a boon to quite a few movies since it tends to forgive quite a bit and shows people that there are redeeming qualities to many movies.
Now that people are actually finding themselves in agreement that the movie wasn’t that bad it would appear that it’s okay to like the movie and that it won’t get a person ridiculed. Right? Well, that’s likely a matter of opinion since some folks might still see the need to make fun of those that happen to think that this is one of the best movies ever made. Chances are it wasn’t so horrible that it would be tossed into the bottom of the pile, but it is likely that many people might still look at you funny if a person decided to go on and on, extolling the virtues of this movie when the reality of it is that it did come out during a time that was less amenable to such movies. The fact that Rachael doesn’t feel bad or in any way regretful for making the movie is great since it means that she found it to be uplifting in some small way, but overall the movie was pushed to the bottom for a reason and while some might say that product placement played a big role in dampening the enthusiasm, it’s likely that it could have been better received at some point in the 90s or later on in the 2000s. Of course, that would have meant that the ladies would have been a little too young had it been filmed earlier, and as a lot of people can see, their careers have been doing just fine since this movie since Rosario Dawson has been in several movies and is currently being anticipated as Ahsoka Tano in the next season of The Mandalorian, while Tara Reid went on to enjoy fame in the goofy but well-liked Sharknado series.
Rachael has been busy as well in the past couple decades and has done mostly straight to video material, but she’s been easy to remember for many people for not just her work in Josie and the Pussycats, but also for She’s All That and other movies that have helped to keep her relevant in Hollywood. To say that one movie tanked her career isn’t entirely fair since again if it had come out at a different time it does feel as though it would have done far better and this article and many others wouldn’t exist in the same form. Looking at the career of each woman that helped to make this movie it’s easy to see that they’ve all made a couple of clunkers in their lives and it’s even easier to see that it’s never slowed them down since they keep going, finding new projects to work on as they maintain careers that have been continually moving forward if not necessarily up. For Tara Reid, it almost feels as though the American Pie movies were her big break before Sharknado, and everything else was more or less one drawn-out cameo after another. With Rosario Dawson though it does feel as if she’s been biding her time with lesser roles until she found a few that she could really get behind. Rachael has definitely been pushing forward, but there’s a hope that she’ll become a bigger name once again.