Pitch perfect adds musical talent to comedy
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 00:10
Pitch Perfect, the new film about an all-female a cappella group trying to hit the big time, is easygoing and filled with fun musical moments that make it sophisticated rather than cheesy.
Pitch Perfect begins when Beca (Anna Kendrick) — a college freshman who would rather pusue her dreams of becoming a professional DJ than go to college — is forced into higher education by her father. Upon arriving on campus, Beca attempts to reconcile her DJ dreams with her scholastic attempts by joining The Bellas, an a cappella singing group on campus. The Bellas’ main rivals are the Treblemakers, another campus a cappella group that occupies the throne as the reigning songbirds on campus.
Following an embarrassing incident during the previous year’s finals, The Bellas are on a mission to make it back to the top and prove themselves at this year’s finals, held in New York City’s famous Lincoln Center. This time, they have the added pressure of their fierce rivalry with the Treblemakers in addition to their own lack of vision and teamwork.
Fortunately, the girls have plenty of comic relief to help them, thanks in large part to breakout star Rebel Wilson’s comedic precision.
Wilson, in the role of “Fat Amy,” takes what would be a one-dimensional character and delivers a multi-layered and nuanced performance. In spite of stellar performances by Anna Kendrick in the role of the
put-upon Beca and Brittany Snow as the over-eager Chloe, Wilson is definitely the one who excels when it comes to the film’s comedy.
Pitch Perfect is straightforward and predictable, but that doesn’t make it unwatchable. The plot is linear — a wise choice for a film with so many musical numbers — but also allows for moments of intense female
emotion between the characters. The music, which is reminiscent of Glee in the sense that it is a fresh take on pop hits like “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson, corresponds well to the thematic elements of the film. The soundtrack itself has merit even though some of the actors did not have singing experience prior to the film.
Many of the memorable moments of the film involve Wilson’s character. “Fat Amy” is unapologetic for her weight and her expectations of success in regards to her future career as a singer, which provides the audience with a refreshing change from how women of size are usually portrayed in comedic films aimed at the college demographic. With several American performances under her belt, including a 2011 role in the Judd Apatow-produced comedy Bridesmaids, Wilson is poised to become the next Melissa McCarthy.
Another memorable character in the film is Lilly, who is portrayed by Hana Mae Lee. Lilly is a soft-spoken girl who somehow managed to get into The Bellas even though the girls — and the audience — can barely hear her. Lilly adds her own strange charm with barely audible sentences and a lack of drama. Her presence in the film helps balance out the fuss that occurs between The Bellas, which is a relief since films often portray girls as overly dramatic.
The film, directed by Jason Moore and released by Universal Pictures on Oct. 5, is a good choice for anyone, especially girlfriends and mother-daughter moviegoers looking for a way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The appeal of the film is not limited despite being female-focused, but viewers who are not into puns and word play like “aca-excuse me” and “pitch slapped” may not be fully in on the musical joke.