Release date: October 5, 2012
Director: Jason Moore
Book by: Mickey Rapkin
Screenplay by: Kay Cannon
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Anna Camp, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Alexis Knapp, Ester Dean, Hana Mae Lee, Adam DeVine, Skylar Astin, Ben Platt, Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgins, John Benjamin Hickey
From the start, Pitch Perfect shows a lot of love for music. It certainly shares a few things with Ryan Murphy’s television series Glee, but they are more like distant cousins who hate each other even though they share some qualities.
As she enters Barden University as a negative-minded girl in love with music production, Beca (Kendrick) is coaxed into joining her school’s all-girl a cappella group, the Barden Bellas. The girls work together to bring life to their tired routine performances and to beat the school’s all-male team, the Treblemakers.
Instead of being the all-inclusive, social issue panacea that Glee desperately wants to be, Tony Award-nominated director Jason Moore fills his debut film with fun and a lot of heart. Kay Cannon doesn’t care to exploit the film’s cast to address anything he deems important, but instead focuses on delivering an entertaining movie that uses most of its time wisely.
The film isn’t without its flaws, including a few stale and regurgitated jokes, but the biggest is the romance that feels shoehorned in most of the time. Thankfully, it doesn’t steal the show away from the most important thing: music. Be it The Barden Bellas’ enchanting mash-up of The Sign, Eternal Flame, and Turn the Beat Around or the awesome Ladies of the ’80s and Songs About Sex riff offs, it’s all in good fun.
No matter how much one ends up falling for the musical performances, it’s impossible to deny that Pitch Perfect‘s best feature is in fact its amazing female cast. Sure, the guys are fine and dandy and Adam DeVine stands out with an over the top performance that doesn’t always work, but it’s all about the ladies here. Anna Kendrick, Anna Camp, and Brittany Snow all work together perfectly, and there isn’t anything I’d rather hear than “aca-scuse me” about a thousand times.
Everyone has praised Rebel Wilson before now, but she’s never been better than as the scene-stealing Fat Amy. In facial expressions and one-liners she makes up for any and all shortcomings one might find in the film. Even its minor players are great, and Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins are the best, absolutely killing it as the judges.
Pitch Perfect isn’t the most original or artistic or boring Oscar-nominated movie this year, but with great musical performances and plenty of solid humor, it proves itself as one of the most fun flicks around.