Music scenes in movies are risky propositions. An actor who barely knows how to strum a guitar will pantomime a musician’s motions, in a bold/vain/completely misguided attempt to convince an audience (s)he’s really playing. It’s not so much about nailing it, because stars of the silver screen can’t be all things to all people. The goal is to “play” without distracting us or detracting from the scene.
Take Josie and the Pussycats, the seminal 2001 movie critic Leonard Maltin called “the finest movie ever made, [and] a uniquely American masterpiece.” In this re-envisioning of the 1970s Hannah-Barbera cartoon, Tara Reid stars as Melody, the drummer. Despite her formidable acting talents, you’re simple if you think Reid actually drums like this. It’s a misstep in an otherwise exemplary cinema experience.