Review: 'Pitch Perfect' hits all the right notes
by Phoebe So and Addie McNamara
Published October 14, 2012
Singing, dancing and more singing from a group of thrown-together misfits as they fight their status as underdogs. Sound familiar? Before you jump to conclusions, no, we’re not talking about Fox’s musical comedy-drama “Glee.” This is a completely different stage – “Pitch Perfect” to be exact.
Based off Mickey Rapkin’s novel of the same name, “Pitch Perfect” was directed by Jason Moore (“Avenue Q”) and written by Kay Cannon (“30 Rock,” “New Girl”). Released in theaters worldwide on Oct. 5, the movie stars Anna Kendrick (“Up in the Air,” “50/50”) as Beca, your stereotypical pessimistic college student, whose cynicism and alternative style provide an area of relatability as well as plenty of room to grow. Forced to attend college at Barden University by her father before she can pursue her dream of becoming a professional DJ, Beca is coerced into joining the university’s all-girl a capella group, “The Bellas.”
The Bellas are the school’s laughing stock after an unfortunate incident at last year’s nationals. Aubrey (Anna Camp), the ultraconservative leader of the Bellas, is highly devoted but over-controlling. Seeking redemption, she and her second-in-command, Chloe (Brittany Snow), assemble a group of girls who couldn’t be more different from each other. Together, the Bellas must climb to victory, while constantly defending themselves from the pretentious reigning national champions, the university’s all-boy team, the “Treblemakers.”
Initially, Beca would not have fit the mold for the Bellas, but due to limited signups after last year’s incident, she is admitted. Beca is rebellious and does not adhere to Aubrey’s ideals and regulations, causing conflicts to arise between the two. Another rift is also created when Beca befriends big-hearted and puppy-eyed Jesse (Skylar Astin), a member of the Treblemakers, an act that is strictly forbidden by the Bellas.
By far the most memorable member of the Bellas is self-named “Fat” Amy, played by Rebel Wilson (“Bridesmaids,” “Bachelorette”), who provides a significant amount of humor throughout the film. With all her hilariously witty comments, “Fat” Amy outshines her fellow cast members by turning a seemingly small character into a starring role.
The rest of the ensemble, despite their wacky differences and mismatching attitudes, are able to entertain and pull off jokes that never miss a beat. Actors Alexis Knapp, Ester Dean and Hana Mae Lee play the eccentric members of the group. Covering topics such as gambling problems, making barf angels and eating twins in the womb, “Pitch Perfect” gives a whole spectrum of humor.
As the plot progresses, we see the characters begin to change and become more willing to accept differences and work together. Although the movie clearly has a message about fitting in versus changing the norm, it does not include the same over-moralizing nature of many films.
Throughout the movie, the constant stream of jokes, even some thrown in about “Glee,” make for a pleasant Friday night. Distinguishing itself from your typical chick flick, “Pitch Perfect” leaves you more caught up in the humor than the actual plotline. Alongside the comedic aspects are thrown numerous modern, popular songs, frequently in mash-ups of more than one song intertwined.
The only downside of the movie was the plot’s foreseeable ending. Beca’s character development was so blatantly obvious we could have easily written an analytical essay about her for English. Ironically, Beca says that she doesn’t like movies because of their predictability. However, you can easily predict the ending of “Pitch Perfect” from watching the trailer alone.
With its interesting and crazy characters, catchy tunes and knee-slapping jokes, Pitch Perfect supplies something for everyone. A mixture between “Bridesmaids,” with its female-driven cast, and an updated version of “Glee,” “Pitch Perfect” will leave you singing and dancing.
This a capella flick is aca-awesome and hits all the right notes.