Pitch Perfect (2012) (PG-13)
Following the success of the hit show "Glee" and the (maybe not so) hit show "The Sing-Off"; a cappella singing groups have been getting more and more respect and air time. Entire channels on Youtube are devoted to this style of music, that is, using your voice to make all the sounds necessary to perform a song. A cappella singers must have either been really happy or insanely mad to see that their style of song was being portrayed in a movie: "Pitch Perfect".
Beca (Anna Kendrick) is a girl who knows exactly what she wants to do with her life: she wants to make music, to DJ. She makes "mash-ups", combining two or more songs to make one. She is a freshman at Barden University, though she would rather not be going to college at all. Her father is a professor at Barden so she receives free education and at the constant nagging of her father, decides to attend.
Barden has a few a cappella groups who competed in the finals of a singing competition, one of the most prestigious in this art form. Last year, while the Barden Bellas were competing, Aubrey (Anna Camp) one of singers had a little....um....accident.
Her shame following the, er, nauseating incident was huge; but not as big as her determination to return to the finals and wipe off her name.
The Barden Bellas are opposed by the dominant champions of Barden University, the Treble Makers, whose persistent mockery is another factor in Aubrey's determination.
Aubrey and her friend/fellow singer Chloe (Brittany Snow) decide that they are going to recruit many more beautiful and big breasted singers to help their....image.
But it soon becomes clear that they are not going to find 'perfect 10s' ready for a cappella singing. They decide to "branch out" and seek many more girls and soon have encompassed a large gathering of unique individuals. They try to get Beca to sing, but she thinks that these competitions are "lame" to which Aubrey has to say this:
A-ca-scuse me? Synchronized lady dancing to a Mariah Carey chart topper is not lame.
Yeah, she's not fooling anyone.
Adding on to this cast of characters is Fat Amy (the perfect Rebel Wilson) who gladly accepts the invitation to audition for the group. She calls herself "Fat Amy" so that no one will do it behind her back.
Then there's Jesse (Skylar Astin) the cute, sensitive, movie-fan boy who is immediately drawn to Beca; the loner girl. He voices this the first time he sees her while he's in a passing car—he sticks his head almost out the window and serenades her while playing air-guitar...this guy knows how to woo women.
Beca is perfectly content not auditioning for the Barden Bellas; but changes her mind when Chloe practically molests her in the shower and refuses to leave until Beca sings for her...that's a great start for a friendship.
But for some inexplicable reason Beca does sing for her and does audition for the Bellas (enter the famous "Cup Song"). So the rag-tag teams of girls lead by the increasingly dictatorial Aubrey are stuck singing old songs that were performed exclusively by women. When Beca suggests a change, Aubrey shoots her down (because she's not titanium).
There are many things that work in this movie: the cutesy relationships, Rebel Wilson, some of the songs, and the funny bantering between John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks. But the things that don't work in the movie outweigh those that do: the overacting and emotionally frustrating Anne Camp, some of the songs, a girl who speaks evil whisperings quietly that no one can hear her, and the need to be politically correct. Yes, the script does have its off-color moments but those are ridiculous and outlandish and they always results in everyone getting along. It's a very safe piece and doesn't take very many risks.
This movie makes a cappella singing seem very easy, which I would wager is not true.
I know I've mentioned it before but I'll say it again, Rebel Wilson is so funny, she has such a unique comic style.
"Pitch Perfect" isn't perfect, it drags but has its funny moments too. It doesn't have the heart, humor, or the quirk of Tina Fey—always a disappointing thing.
Score: 2 and a half stars out of 4
Posted by Micah Jones