Musical comedies are sometimes hit or miss. They’re either really good on the musical part and fall flat on comedy, or vice versa. I have to admit, I was expecting something like that with Pitch Perfect.
My initial reaction after seeing the trailer was how boring and lame it looked. Who could blame me? It looks like another movie directed towards tweens and fans of Diablo Cody. What I got was something surprisingly decent.
Pitch Perfect stars Anna Kendrick as the college newcomer, Beca. She usually keeps to herself as she sits on her laptop and makes mixes using her DJ software. She doesn’t really care for joining any clubs or groups at school, she just wants to get through college and become a record producer. That’s my kind of character.
On the other side of the spectrum, we have Aubrey (Anna Camp) and Chloe (Brittany Snow) who are the leading members of the all-female a cappella group Barden’s Bella’s. A group of tradition, they stick with the same songs the clique has been singing for years now. Their well-sung and bubbly version of “The Sign” is getting pretty stale after being overdone.
After falling short at the national level of an a cappella competition, beat out by their rival all-male group (The Treble Makers), The Bella’s look to pick up the pieces and try again at the coveted prize they have been after.
After assembling a group of misfits; a sex addict, a quiet and probably homicidal Asian girl, Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), Beca, and a few others, The Bella’s start their practice to become champions.
Right away, Beca was not impressed with the song choice, criticizing it for being out of date and stale. While others agreed, team leader Aubrey would not let up on tradition; because you know, she’s the bitch.
While Pitch Perfect rehashes the old story of the unconventional girl joining the dead horse of a team to bring a new spark, it surprisingly brings some charm. Hardly any of the jokes are lame ducks. Even though some of them were predictable, they still felt fresh.
One of my favorites of the movie is the all-time douchebag and head of the Treble Makers, Bumper (Adam Devine). Devine seems to have carried over some elements of his character on Workaholics. The cocky short guy who thinks he is the shit. His comedy and interactions with Fat Amy are some of the brighter spots of the movie.
Another hit in the comedy was the punnery. Everyone who knows me knows that I am a fan of two things: vanilla wafers and puns. While there were no vanilla wafers, the musical puns were a constant flow. Beside the movie’s tag “You’re about to get pitch slapped”, there were some pretty funny and cheesy lines like “You’re going to be in treble” or any of the “a-ca-______” puns. Or there is the fact that they treat vocal nodes as if it were cancer that got me laughing. It’s subtle things like that that actually get a good chuckle out of me.
As for the music, I would say it was arranged very well. Though I am annoyed by top 40 radio filler songs they used, their renditions of it using only their voices was pretty creative. Everything from the beat to the bass lines were covered by the performers voices (I’m not saying a lot of them were the actual actors voices, of course).
If I had to compare Pitch Perfect to anything, I would have to say Mean Girls would be a close fit. Mean Girls has its sparkly side for the teens, but there is also some pretty good adult-oriented comedy built into its structure.
While Pitch Perfect lacks an original story, and romance between Kendrick and Skylar Astin, It still holds up to be a pretty decent comedy for what it is. With a Mean Girls-esque style that can appeal to both teens and adults, it is a solid effort that may be worth the time if you were on the fence about it.
Pitch Perfect – 7.5/10