Pitch Perfect is the perfect kind of movie for repeat comfort viewings. It’s no masterpiece, but it definitely satisfies. First time screenwriter Kay Cannon (30 Rock, New Girl) based her story on a 2008 nonfiction book by Mickey Rapkin, about the world of competitive collegiate A cappella groups, so – though it may look like something in the vein of Bring It On or Glee – underneath that off-putting exterior lies a comedy rich with jokes and good performances.
- Director: Jason Moore
- Screenwriters: Kay Cannon
- Cast: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Skylar Astin, Adam DeVine, Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins
- Cinematography: Julio Macat
The story follows an all-girls A capella group called, The Bellas, who try to beat the reigning A capella male group, The Treblemakers. Enter Beca (Kendrick): a girl who wants to become a famous DJ in Los Angeles, but is forced to go to college in Carolina by her strict father. There she meets The Bellas, who are scouting for new members. At first Beca hesitates to audition for the group, but later comes around and shocks the other girls with her unique voice and style. Once a member, Beca introduces much needed energy into the repertoire, giving the Treblemakers a run for their money.
- Fat Amy: Rebel Wilson’s Fat Amy is the sort of star-making turn that reminds you of Melissa McCarthy‘s role in Bridesmaids. Her onscreen presence and comedic timing carry most of this movie. With Wilson’s improv skills in peak form, she manages to steal a movie that is loaded with great talents.
- Anna Kendrick: It was smart to recruit Kendrick for this movie because she’s not just some young and pretty Hollywood actress, she’s got credibility behind her (and an Oscar nomination). After all, she’s made movies with George Clooney and Robert Redford. It’s surprising to see her star in something as cheery as Pitch Perfect, but her presence helps a lot. She’s got the dramatic chops to tackle the role of the angry teenager, and apparently she’s also got the singing and dancing (and rapping) down too. She’s the complete package!
- The Music And Performances: This movie is flooded with Top 40 hits, for better or worse. But the performances of that music are surprisingly good and that’s because of the different types of arrangements. Some numbers are better than others, but none are ever cheesy, and that’s because they aren’t used to express feelings the way Glee and other musicals tend to. Even during the competition scenes, the performances are intercut with hilarious, inappropriate jokes from commentators Gail (Banks) and John (Higgins). Note to musical haters: This movie is more comedy than musical.
- The Story: In the end, Pitch Perfect is predictable. There’s the tepid romance between Beca and Jesse (Skylar) and the impending feud between The Bellas. They fall apart before they come together. But the path to this foreseeable destination is joyful and full of laughs.
- Not For Everyone: People who like shows like Glee will definitely love this movie. People who don’t like those shows might also actually enjoy it. Pitch Perfect isn’t your typical musical-movie, but if you’re the kind of person that absolutely loathes the mesh of Top 40 music and film, then you probably will not enjoy this.
Many people might initially want to avoid watching Pitch Perfect because of it’s Glee-vibe. Don’t be one of those people. Don’t even associate this with any other musical movie or TV show you’ve watched. Do yourself a favor and just buy the ticket, some popcorn and watch it. Give this one a chance. It’s A ca-awesome.
The Rating: 7.5/10
Pitch Perfects opens everywhere October 5th.
Will you be seeing Pitch Perfect this weekend?