Na na na, na na na na, na na na, na na na yeah yeah yeah yeah...
Possibly the most transgressive quality of Josie and the Pussycats (which being a comedy, MUST be transgressive (see below)) is the complete failure of the heroes to actually accomplish anything at all except to get accidentally manipulated into being famous.
They aren't smart enough to figure out what's going on, and so completely fail to put a stop to the schemes of the notional "bad guys". The world has not been made safe for teenagers at the end of the film. Our heroes remain clueless. Even Val, the "smart one".
Josie and the Pussycats posits a hostile, malevolent world in which the powers that be are aggressively (and successfully) crushing freedom and beauty and emotion. When our plucky heroines DO realise what's going on, they simply fall prey to a larger scheme (one that we, the audience, receive a privileged insight on), and remain completely under the control of the system anyway.
But that's sort of a comforting notion, isn't it?
Even if the world is ruled by malevolent powers that are out to get us, at least it's ruled by SOMEBODY. At least there's a MEANING. At least we're fulfilling some sort of purpose, and all our fussing and bothering isn't just some kind of spiritual Brownian motion.
Josie and her friends, of course, don't worry much about that sort of thing. And the film does manage to feel triumphant in the end, even if the world remains in the grip of evil forces. At least the girls are friends again, and at least Alan M and Josie figure their thing out, and at least the concert audience cheers like mad.
You know, if your friends like you, and that cutie you're dreaming about likes you, and everyone in the world likes you, maybe it doesn't matter so much what's really going on. Maybe we shouldn't be worrying about global poverty, or the horrors of war, or the growth of totalitarianism. Maybe we should just rock out with some mindless pop tunes.
Na na na, na na na na...