Girl band Josie And The Pussycats quickly become the next big thing. But they soon discover there is a sinister side to their new-found fame.
The similarities between the plot of Josie And The Pussycats and a particular episode of The Simpsons in which Bart and buddies became boy band superstars are, at first glance, startlingly apparent. And that's not all Josie has in common with TV's foremost family. A 21st century update of the 1970s comic book, this is the cleverest '70s throwback to hit the screen since The Brady Bunch Movie - and its smart brand of veiled satire suggests that its appeal deserves to stretch far beyond the teen market at which it initially seems to be aimed.
From the moment when boy band DuJour break into a saucy number entitled, er, Backdoor Lover, it's clear what sort of territory we're in. When friction between the pretty boy quintet leads to their 'mysterious' disappearance, record company exec Wyatt (a splendidly oily Cumming) is ordered by his scheming boss, Fiona, to find a new bunch of wannabe musicians to manipulate - and after he stumbles upon Josie and co. (Reid and Dawson), they quickly become the next big thing. But it's only when they begin to question the rapidity of their rise to the top that Wyatt and Fiona's motives become all too clear.
Essentially, this pokes non-stop fun at the cult of celebrity, and the transience of a music scene where 15 minutes of fame is positively generous. But aside from its underlying message, this offers rapid-fire wit, some rockin' tunes and a sweet and feisty central trio.
The endless onslaught of product placement does become cloying after a while, and there is one forced final twist too many - but the end result is so much fun you'll forgive it its flaws.
While this may not be high art, this is still one of the most consistently entertaining films you're likely to see all summer. Give it a try, you'll have a blast - even if you'll hate to admit it.