Running Time: 112 minutes
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Rebel Wilson
Directed By: Jason Moore
Rating: 7 out of 10
A girl is pressured to join an all girl singing group in hopes of winning the campus regionals.
My dirty little secret was going to come out sometime so here it is; I am a fan of musicals (if they are done well that is.) Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Grease, and Sweeney Todd are all favorites of mine. Not to mention the musical television episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Scrubs would also make my list. I popped this Blu-ray in with some great hope (that is the fan in me speaking) but also with a lot of trepidation (that is the realist in me speaking) as I will discuss below. Pitch Perfect is the story of Beca. She is a freshman at university and gets pressured into joining an all girls a cappella group. The eclectic group of girls must find a way to beat the reigning champions at the final campus singing competition.
I am going to have to agree with Jeff Winger from Community and say I also hate the television show Glee and I don’t understand the appeal. So when I heard the premise of Pitch Perfect, I rolled my eyes and tried to quell the vomit rising in my throat. What happened next was a total shock to me as I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Glee is disgustingly cheesy and takes itself way too seriously. Its tacky approach to dealing with complex social issues and a United Colors of Benetton cast makes it uncomfortable to watch. Not to mention the stupid relationships and their accompanying problems. Pitch Perfect on the other hand is the total opposite of Glee (other than the singing) as it never took itself seriously and delivered with cleverly developed characters and not to mention a hilarious script. Without any of the serious topics and melodrama the viewer is just able to sit back and enjoy the movie unfold. Right from the beginning this movie entertained me. The start shows some a cappella groups performing their magic as two politically incorrect commentators weigh in with some funny banter. The music is a collection of old pop favorites and current chart toppers all with their own twists and originality. We are introduced to the alternative styled Beca a short while later and it is her we follow for most of the film. She is an aspiring music producer who gets pressured into joining the group after a very persistent and naked confrontation in the communal showers. From there the movie settles into a story of an unorthodox girl singing group trying to not only coexist but also trying to win a singing championship.
The movie is led by mostly women and it continues the positive trend of comedic performances from a female ensemble cast. There are a lot of characters in this film so I will talk about the stand outs for me. First was Beca played by Tina Fey’s daughter, Anna Kendrick. Her curt personality and alternative style was just what this film needed to drive it along. She is funny in a sarcastic way and it fit perfectly with the other group of women. Next that stood out for me was Rebel Wilson playing a character called Fat Amy. I find Wilson to be annoying in most things she does but she was great in this. Her delivery and crude style of humor never changes but I felt this was the perfect movie for her to let loose in. Truth be told there is no one out of place in this movie and there are many different characters to like. There are preppy good girls, a lesbian, a sex addict, a quiet crazy Asian girl, and many more to appreciate and laugh to. The girls are a group of misfits that you will just enjoy watching. Plus they have great voices so even if you don’t find this movie funny with its politically incorrect humor you should like the singing.
The pacing of the film is great as we follow Beca around campus and to various singing venues. The film never gets deeper than the music and the girls struggling to get along. Sure there is an angle of a budding romance between Beca and a guy on the rival team but it is so far in the background it is hardly worth mentioning. I am sure some people will say this film is ridiculous and will not like how it pokes fun at nerds but I thought it was great. The girls have awkward singing practices, awkward socials, awkward singing battles, and last but not least awkward conversations. The film travels the full spectrum of naked girls hanging out in the shower to a girl violently throwing up on stage. Will the girls win the singing regionals? I will let you discover that for yourself.
Director Jason Moore took a movie that could have bombed and made it fun and entertaining. The script is sort of Mean Girls meets Glee without being pretentious. The storyline of a girl in college is as thin as it gets and yet it feels right for this film. As the groups sing for the title the two announcers make sure you realize not to take this film seriously at all. He cast brilliantly with Kendrick leading, and Brittany Snow and Anna Camp helping out to make sure the film never gets out of control. It would have been easy to make this film rated R but the jokes were still in line with the tone of the film. The only thing Moore failed to do was cast Rockapella singing Carmen Sandiego. I already want to watch a sequel so good work Mr. Moore.
I give this movie a big recommendation for people looking for an easy watch and some good music.
T Factor + If you like musicals then this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you do not like musicals then this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: Mean Girls, Bridesmaids.