With the impressive popularity of “Glee” and “The Sing-Off,” it’s kind of a shocker that a movie like “Pitch Perfect” wasn’t made until now. The quick-witted humor of director Jason Moore (“Avenue Q”) and an incredible cast featuring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow and Adam DeVine gives the movie contagious energy.
Athens was lucky enough to get an early screening of the movie a few weeks ago at the Athena. The night started off with Title IX, one the all-girl a cappella groups at Ohio University, which gave the audience an idea of what to expect in the film with their rendition of Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful.”
In the film, college freshman Beca (Anna Kendrick) is pushed by her father to to get involved in a club so he’ll fund her dream of moving to Los Angeles. Beca gets recruited by the Bellas, an all-girl a cappella group that wears flight attendant costumes and constantly sings the same songs. The reigning champions of the campus a cappella scene are the Treblemakers, an all-boys group and the girls’ rivals. It quickly becomes apparent that the movie revolves around the conflict of the Bellas’ traditional ways vs. the innovative Treblemakers.
As the film progresses, the misfits are the ones who truly shine. We have the snarky commentators (Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins) as the judges who constantly nag on The Bellas, Lily (Hana Mae Lee), who hardly speaks above a whisper but says the most ridiculous things and later reveals her hidden beat boxing talent, but it’s Rebel Wilson who shines as “Fat” Amy. She steals the show with her effortlessly quotable one-liners.
With the Treblemakers and their Top 40 hits and the Bellas’ female power anthems, the film’s music is quite catchy, featuring artists from Kelly Clarkson and Bruno Mars to Simple Minds and The Bangles. Despite the amount of songs on the soundtrack, throughout the film the audience repeatedly hears the same three songs by The Bellas. Not only does it drive Beca crazy, but the viewers will be irritated as well. Let’s face it, no one wants “I Saw the Sign” stuck in their head all day (besides Stephanie Tanner).
While the film is ridiculously hilarious and has an awesome soundtrack, the actual plot goes pretty slow, not speeding up until the very end. The expected transformation of The Bellas happens within the last 15 minutes of the movie. It would have been much more exciting to see the buildup in the women, especially the iron-fisted leader, played Anna Camp. Most of the focus was on the humor instead of the story. Quirky scenes and big laughs take priority over character and plot development, and though the humor is great, it can get a little old.
Sure it’s a campy and over-exaggerated, but “Pitch Perfect” has a lighthearted spirit that will leave the audience humming. Aca-mazing!
Speakeasy Rating: B+
Starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow
Rated PG-13 for sexual material, language and drug references