Pitch Perfect is as the name implies. A wonderfully sardonic movie that mercilessly mocks Glee and movies like Bring It On, PP is an entertaining competitive musical itself. Stars Anna Kendrick and Britney Snow fit smoothly into the proceedings while Australian Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids) steals every scene she’s in. An uproariously funny take on an old formula, Pitch Perfect is concise and simple, and better for it.
Anna Kendrick stars as Beca, a college freshman out on her own for the first time, looking to make her way. She’s tough, you know, because she wears way too much eye makeup and has a tattoo. Obsessed with music and a budding DJ, Beca finds herself drawn into the world of competitive acapella singing on a campus that’s obsessed with it. Along the way she finds herself falling for the brash boy whose obsessions mirror her own and part of a family of also-rans.
The comedy is scattershot, coming in unexpected ways and never overstaying its welcome. Some gags are one-and-done, others runners, and others still spending the entire movie building up to a delightful payoff. This helps keep the movie from getting mired in the sappy melodrama of the underlying love story.
The music, too, is toe-tappingly excellent, making you hum along in spite of yourself.
Pitch Perfect does seem at times overstuffed with so many characters but director Jason Moore keeps things moving, though he seems to want to make a “Glee” movie rather than the sarcastic deconstruction featured in the script. Still, he leaves in enough of the jabs and barbs, having them mentioned off-hand which rewards the observant audience without alienating the musical faithful who will patronize the flick.
Kay Cannon adapted the script from the similarly snarky novel by Mickey Rapkin, giving it her own voice. It’s obvious that Cannon cut her teeth working with Tina Fey on 30 Rock and the movie benefits from the random humor that marks that critical darling. The observant viewer will be rewarded by a hilarious, engaging and fun musical flick.
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