Release Date: 21st December 2012
Beca, (Anna Kendrick), a punky, rebellious teen, whose only passion in life is to move to L.A and produce music, reluctantly matriculates into Barden University. After meeting nice-guy Jesse (Skylar Astin) Beca gets roped into joining the all-girls a cappella group The Barden Bellas, who failed miserably in last year’s national finals due to some uncontrollable refluxes. However, Beca’s contemporary outlook, allows her to take it upon herself to revolutionise the group and find their new sound. But this comes with difficulties; in the way of strict group leader Aubrey (Anna Camp) who insists on keeping their old charm.
Pitch Perfect is an all-singing, all-dancing, college version of that T.V musical comedy Glee; but with a meaner cast and a more gag-worthy narrative. With the amount of Broadway and comedy influences behind and in front of the camera, it is no surprise this music-comedy came to our silver screen. Director Jason Moore, best known for staging Broadway show Avenue Q, gets the mixture of comedy and performance down perfectly and scriptwriter Kay Cannon has dabbled well with Fox’s hit TV show New Girl. Along with those influences behind the scenes, Skylar Astin, who plays generic nice-guy Jesse comes from Broadway’s Spring Awakening, adding that stage-show feel to the whole films tone.
But if you are looking for a comedy with a bit of romance or a serious message travelling through, then Pitch Perfect is not for you. What you see if what you get with this film, it seems like Moore has basically just served up a big steaming pot of satire and left it at that. But this lack of care and not taking itself too seriously is what makes this film highly hilarious. Take Bridesmaids star Rebel Wilson’s “Fat Amy”, who calls herself that so “twin bitches […] don’t say it behind my back”. Speaking of Wilson’s Amy, the character pulls the whole narrative through with her witty banter and her blunt statements about society; seriously stealing the limelight from all those involved in scenes with her.
So the dysfunctional Bellas include; blonde alpha-bitch Aubrey (Camp), who has a serious issue with keeping down her lunch when the times not right; leaving some grim and cringe-worthy scenes. Brittany Snow, who plays the under-developed beauty queen Chloe who develops vocal nodules that allow her to hit those bass notes so badly missing in all-girl a cappella groups, Anna Kendrick’s Beca, the black-rimmed, eye-rolling wannabe DJ that stands back and watches the shambles unfold but steps in right at the end to save the day. But over on The Trebletone’s, the rival all-guy a cappella group, we have that delicious Broadway star Skylar Astin who outshines our stars in those sing-a-long scenes but falls a little bit behind when trying to attempt those rare semi-serious scenes.
Still, this easy-going, fun-loving narrative wrapped up in a shiny, candy-coated package is hard to dislike. Even if musical comedies are not for you; Pitch Perfect will have your toes tapping and will release a few chuckles we can assure you. But please leave all expectations at the door and just accept the film for what it has set out to be; a crude, college comedy with catchy songs, old and new, added in for a real good time. A perfect tribute to misfits who have kept their mutant vocal chords hidden away, to jump out and become a star! Well an a cappella star anyway.