Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Toe-tapping, hilarious, fun.
Musicals starring young people are all the rage nowadays. First, teens everywhere were tuning into the latest High School Musical film, and now people just can’t seem to get enough of FOX’s hit show Glee. To add to the list of great musicals starring up-and-coming singing clubs is Pitch Perfect starring Anna Kendrick. The funny thing about this kind of musical is that it’s not the fantasy kind where random people join and dance, this is the realistic kind as groups compete against each other. That doesn’t mean it’s not a musical though. As far as genre goes, this hits musical and comedy very well.
The Barden Bellas are an all-girl a-capella singing group attending Barden University. After an unfortunate and humiliating performance that cost them the finals in the previous year, the Bellas must work harder than ever to get back to the top. That may prove difficult when their arch nemesis, the Treble Makers, an all-boys group, continually win time after time due to judges having the assumption that an all-girl group is unable to hit low notes, making their performances a snore-fest to anyone watching…even though they are actually very good, but safe. Beca (Kendrick) never had any desire to go to the school, but is forced to by her professor father. She also had no interest in singing, but after she is heard singing in the shower, she is persuaded to audition for a part in the Bellas, to which she is accepted.
The group has a simple rule. They must never get romantically involved with anyone on the opposing team, or they will be immediately cut. This proves to be a problem with Beca starts to have feelings for Jesse (Skylar Astin), who was a part of the other team. When she learns that the Bellas perform the same song every time, her creativity shines, but is not listened to, because the leader Aubrey (Anna Camp), believes that playing it safe will get them to the finales and ultimately win them the competition, but who wouldn’t guess that Beca’s creativity would eventually change the group for the better? With her help, they may just be able to win the whole thing.
The plot is your typical competition found in several movies, but it is heavily fueled by its colorful and memorable characters, the incredibly comedic elements, and the well-performed and catchy musical numbers. Some of these songs may have the audience wishing to purchase the soundtrack or movie itself to watch over and over again. The characters are great, complete with Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), an enthusiastic and energetic girl who’s not afraid to show her stuff, and Lilly (Hana Mae Lee), a nearly mute Asian girl who can at times range on insane. All of the characters are hilarious and loveable. The small radio host roles played by Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins are absolutely hysterical as well.
There are some sexist jokes near the beginning that can be insulting to some if taken too seriously, but just try to remember the entire movie is based off of slapstick humor with as many puns as they could muster. Some people really can’t stand slapstick, and that’s okay, this movie is probably not for you, but for what is was, it was done very well. The audience was given a lot more material that will just make them slap their knees with laughter.
When it comes to the musical numbers, the singing was very well done, and it may shock some people to see Kendrick and Brittany Snow belt out some actually nice notes, that were…well…in perfect pitch. What it really comes down to is simple…it was fun, a lot of fun. It may not have the best writing in the world, but that one fault is really drowned out from the rest of the things that were actually good. It is definitely a catch and a must-see.
I had more fun watching Pitch Perfect than a lot of other 2012 movies, to be honest. It’s mixture of amazingly developed characters, well-rehearsed musical numbers, and hilarious one-liners make this film really special. Even people who hate musicals could ultimately love this film.
The play on words with a capella got really, really old. Like, a cascuse me? They did that more than once and I just don’t think it fit as well as it thought it did.
Virtually every line spoken in this film. But one example:
Bumper: I have a feeling we should kiss. Is that a good feeling or an incorrect feeling?
Fat Amy: Well… sometimes I have the feeling I can do crystal meth, but then I think, mmm… better not.