Movie: “Pitch Perfect” Hits High Note
October 8, 2012
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
When Fox’s singing show "Glee" became a massive success several years ago, suddenly all things musical were absolutely inescapable. From glee clubs popping up in high schools to musical dream sequences in movies and television shows, the addition of music seemed to make whatever it was put into, hip, fun, and fresh. "Pitch Perfect" makes a strong effort to be all of the above and, to a degree, it accomplishes that goal.
"Pitch Perfect" tells the story of Beca (Anna Kendrick, Oscar nominated for "Up in the Air"), a college student who is only attending Barden University because her father will allow her to go follow her dream of becoming a DJ in Los Angeles if she completes a year of school first. Her father encourages her to join a student run club in a bid to make friends instead of focusing all of her time at the school radio station with fellow music geek Jesse (Skylar Astin from Broadway's "Spring Awakening"). Beca is strong armed into auditioning for the Barden Bellas, an all-female a cappella group led by uptight Aubrey ("True Blood’s" Anna Camp) and Chloe ("Hairspray’"s Brittany Snow), who are bent on making it back to the collegiate a cappela finals at Lincoln Center after a disastrous performance the prior year.
The Bellas have a difficult time adjusting to their new members, including fish out of water Fat Amy ("Bridesmaids" Rebel Wilson), creepy quiet Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) and ‘hardcore’ Cynthia Rose (musician Ester Dean), while trying to win back some of their former respect. With stale routines and personality clashes, it seems like The Bellas will never make it to Lincoln Center, especially when their competition is the Treblemakers, Barden University’s all male a cappella group and previous first place winners of the collegiate a cappella competition.
"Pitch Perfect" was far from perfect, but it was mindlessly fun. The young cast repeatedly proved that they have talent, but Rebel Wilson and Hana Mae Lee stole the show every time they opened their mouths; their comedic timing was great. A few gross out gags concerning what happens to Aubrey when she gets nervous were taken to an extreme that was not necessary, but generally the comedy was spot on for the teenage audience it is targeted at. Overall, the musical selections were fine, but they seemed a little hit and miss. The pacing was occasionally slow, as the film tended to drag in parts throughout. Albeit predictable plot-wise, "Pitch Perfect" was a crowd pleaser at the showing I saw it at, with the audience dying of laughter in some parts, and humming the songs during.
"Pitch Perfect" is rated PG-13 for sexual material, language and drug references and runs 112 minutes. It is in theaters now.