Pitch Perfect

PhotobucketTake Glee, Bring it On and Bridesmaids, mix together, sprinkle liberally with cheese, and serve up to a receptive audience. Pitch Perfect is a recipe for fun. The story concerns the competitive world of collegiate a cappella groups. Pretty young Beca is a guarded cynic who would rather produce a tune than sing one. Having just entered college, she is newly recruited by an all girl a cappella group desperate for new members who can harmonize.

Pitch Perfect is greatly assisted by a talented cast. A few are worth a special mention. Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins are two ESPN style announcers that give play by play announcements interspersed throughout the a cappella singing competitions. Their witticisms from the broadcasting booth are side splittingly hilarious. In many cases, some of the biggest laughs. The only person who surpasses them is comedian Rebel Wilson, a zaftig Aussie who actually refers to herself as Fat Amy. As one of the girl vocalists she has an off kilter personality that makes her kind of a uniquely unexpected individual.

Of course the bread and butter of this diversion are the bright song selections that are enthusiastically arranged and passionately sung. The best performance is a “riff-off” between the boys and the girls, a rumble in the streets that uses superior vocals to beat down their opponents instead of guns and knives. It has a spontaneity that the official competitions lack. Unfortunately it only goes back and forth a couple times and then it’s over. What a shame that the segment is so short because it’s easily the most exhilarating sequence in the script. The drama hints at a plucky repartee that could have been sustained for the entire film.

Pitch Perfect is a crowd pleaser in the best sense of the word. Even if you have only a slight interest in hearing a cappella singing, this should make you very happy.  Anyone on the edge of their seat wondering how this is all going to play out would have to be under the age of 10. The storyline is pretty basic. Yet it’s helped immeasurably by an attractive cast with likable personas. Sure there’s the standard archetypes: the bitchy blonde, the slutty brunette, the sensitive heartthrob, etc. But they’re undeniably appealing. These characters have just enough modification to make them interesting. On the whole, the production is a spirited joy.

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16 Responses to “Pitch Perfect”

  1. Great review, Mark. As a Gleek, and fan of Banks and Anna Kendrick, I bet I’d enjoy this.

  2. Funny, I wasn’t even planning on seeing this movie, but was glad I did. It was very funny and entertaining.

  3. This one definitely took me by surprise, I do like Kendrick and Wilson but I hate Glee with a fiery passion so I was impressed that I felt so good about it after it was done.

    I agree that the riff off definitely could have been longer, I do love mash ups. I’d say my least favorite part of the movie was Aubrey (the bitchy Blond) and the most was Jesse’s character, who wasn’t nearly as annoying or douchey as normal love interests are in teen-girl flicks like this

    • There was a time (2009 to be exact) when I watched Glee. But the aggressive ADD of the storylines soon gave me headache. I stopped watching after the first season.

      Pitch Perfect is like what Glee used to be. The acting is relaxed and not so manic. Simple story just about a singing competition.

  4. Sounds like this movie was as good as it could possibly be with the storyline it had. Nice review Mark.

  5. Good review Mark. I was actually dreading watching Pitch Perfect, but I ended up having some fun with it due to it’s strong cast, entertaining performances, and smart dialog.

  6. Couldn’t have said it better Mark , this film caught me completely by surprise. As much as I knew I was watching something very formulaic, the acting is so entertaining and the music so catchy I just had a surprisingly great time. Kendrick is very good, and after this film and Up In The Air I’m not worried about her being typecasted after Twilight, even though the show stealer is Rebel Wilson for sure. Excellent review as always.

    • It’s a formula, but it’s good formula. Nice to see eye to eye on this. We also highly agree on ParaNorman as well. Enjoyed you on that MGCTv podcast. I think this might be your first time commenting. Thanks for doing that!

  7. I am so excited for this film! When I saw the trailer at the cinema I practically squealed with excitement. I love Glee, Bring it On and Bridesmaids so am positive I’ll like this, especially after your glowing review! I love Rebel too! I fear I’ll have to go alone though, can’t see Rob enjoying this one! Great review, Mark :)

  8. Great review Mark! I saw this, and enjoyed it more than I expected to. (My review will be up tomorrow, if you wanted to run over and check it out when you get the chance.) I do agree that the riff-off was much too short. That scene was really the most memorable.

  9. I HATED this movie; in fact, it’s made my #10 for the worst of the year. Didn’t laugh once, and I felt it was a vile rip-off of The Breakfast Club (no wonder that movie had such a prominent appearance…but it does have one of the greatest endings ever, okay…). Worst of all, the songs didn’t seem any ounce a cappella to me. And I love quite a few of those songs.

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