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Despite its light and fluffy dilogue, Pitch Perfect’s light-hearted laughs and music hit all the right notes.

 

 

There’s something amazing that happens to your body when you watch Pitch Perfect, a smile will suddenly appear on your face, your heart will feel lighter and soon enough you’ll start bobbing your head to the rhythm of the man-made beat.

Based on the 2009 non-fiction book Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory by Mickey Rapkin, and the wildly popular phenomenon of college a cappella groups, this film showcases the underground culture of a hilarious clique while capturing the cutthroat rivalry of its unique members.

The film stars Anna Kendrick as Beca, a sweet and snarky girl who’s forced to attend college at Barden U by her obviously unloving parents that want her to do something with her life. Her goal for the moment, like many females, is to produce music, so she lands a job at the campus radio station. There she meets Jesse, played by Skylar Astin, and , like all teenage films, the confused “could we be more than friends by discovering the joys of The Breakfast Club” friendship is born.

As the movie progresses, Beca’s vocal talents are discovered in a scene straight out of Law and Order: SVU. She is accosted in the shower by Chole, played by Brittany Snow, singer and leader of The Bellas, an all-female a cappella group that’s basically seen the last of its Old Lady boring days. The team, a complete and utter mess composed of outcasts who sing boring traditional songs that haven’t been sung since before the days white people discovered rhythm, is now a laughing stock due to a vomit-inducing performance at last year’s competition. 

Beca unwillingly joins the rag-tag team of misfits who desperately need new blood in order to have an inkling of a chance of beating male rivals, The Treblemakers, who prevailed in the national finals the previous spring. For reasons only to progress the storyline, she introduces the team to the joys of Bruno Mars and Jessie J, while she’s thrust into the life of the self-deprecating Fat Amy (played by Rebel Wilson), who nicknamed herself “so twiggy bitches like you don’t do it behind my back” and being aca-awesome. From there, Beca, who never seems to have any lectures or homework, attempts to take The Bellas in edgier directions like free-style as they move away from their traditional harmonies while discovering the joys of mash-ups.

Pitch Perfect is a mix of the glory days of Glee, before cast members were written off/died and its writers no longer cared about the show, mixed with the brashness of Mean Girls. It is an infectious, joyous, fast-paced, nerd-fest with a side of snarky sexual-identity comedy or what others refer to as “life.” 

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The script, which embraces it’s corniness, never takes itself seriously. Each joke and line delivered is fresh, breathing life into the comedy, which is further helped by the fact the cast is full of singing talent and comedic timing, despite them being over a decade older than their characters…long live good genes. 

Kendrick’s appeal blossoms over the course of the film from outsider to someone you can rely upon; her voice soars on every note and in every harmony. While Kendrick’s Beca provides subtle-fun, Wilson’s Fat Amy is on a whole different level and it is here that she truly shines. Her power of comedic timing coupled with her quips, moves and eyes is how someone acts with their body without it being exhausting.  

This film isn’t perfect; it’s very predictable, which can be blamed on its paint-by-numbers script. At times it feels like a direct rip-off of the John Hughes drama, The Breakfast Club, but it knows this and even takes time to make fun of its iconic scenes and quirks.  

Despite its lack of originality, Pitch Perfect is downright hard to resist. The entire cast, which left in other hands could become an overwhelming mess, is given their shining moment, working together and playing off each other’s strengths. There are these tiny occasions, even when an actor is in the background that adds to the scene; Ester Dean’s ambiguously-lesbian ways to Lily’s inability to speak above a whisper to Stacie’s over-sexualized style. Even John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks as commentators who appear provide an extended version of their Best in Show performance keep the giggles rolling.

Along with the acting, the underwhelming script is forgotten the second a song is performed. While there are numerous big numbers, shake-your-tail-feather dance moves, and flashing lights, there’s nothing like the quieter performances, such Anna Kendrick’s Cups audition song, which has provided for the movie’s most memorable moments. Then there’s the spur-of-the-moment sing-offs which are majestically arranged and elevates the film musical factor. These stripped down versions are clearly why these actors were cast: for their raw talent. 

Pitch Perfect is like finding the right popcorn: it’s light, airy, delicious, and easily a guilty pleasure. It’s the definition of fun while the fat lady sings…and the skinny one and everyone else in-between.   

About The Author

Dana Abercrombie
Brand Manager

Former genius and a woman of mystery and power, whose power is exceeded only by her mystery, Dana Abercrombie has been watching since birth (yes birth...we did say "genius"). Despite her secret desire of wanting to give it all up to become a gorgeous billionaire, Dana is most passionate about films often times getting in many heated debates resulting in being thrown out of many gatherings. Despite having a degree in English AND Journalism (multi-tasking FTW!) from the University at Albany-SUNY, she is currently interested in perusing a degree at Yale Law School, because one should never give up on a dream of becoming a gorgeous billionaire...and knowing how to sue someone as a result of those heated debates.