Did you know that there is annual International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella in the US. Well until yesterday, neither did I. Who says movies aren:t educational?Beca (Anna Kendrick) has a definite career track in mind:, take her mad skills with mash-ups to LA and land a gig as a DJ/producer then BOOM gravy train. Her dad, a professor expects her to get a degree, so he proposes an agreement: she has to give it the old college try (at college) for one year and if she still wants to quit, he-ll bankroll her musical dreams. The catch is she has to get involved in one club, but what's the girl who doesn-t like anything but her music supposed to do? Why join an all-girl acapella group of course!
If you're thinking this is just Glee warmed over (or under), disabuse yourself of that notion right now: sure it's a bunch of people singing, but this is college. Okay, maybe it's not that much different, but there definitely is with regards to execution. It's truly impressive to see what the groups are able to do without the benefit of musical accompaniment and Kendrick proves that she has some wonderful pipes to go along with those acting chops and killer smile. The musical numbers also make for a damn good soundtrack (indeed more than a dozen people at the movie's screening were overheard saying that they were going to buy it when they got home). But the music is only half the fun.
Pitch features some amusing (and messy) observations about the effect of stress on people, pays homage to some classic teen flicks, and even boasts its own vernacular eg. "accascuse me?" But it's the wonderful assembly of comedic talent that keeps things going in between the songs: some wonderful comedic talent: Hana Mae Lee, is hilarious as the mousy girl with a very dark side and Elizabeth Banks, the unusually inappropriate commentator for the competition (who reminded me of Justin Bates' character in Dodgeball: An Underdog Story). It's Rebel Wilson however who steals every scene she's in with her outrageous bombastic style. The movie is not without it's problems though.
As written, Beca, is quite a downer, and you find it hard to feel for her which is a stumbling block to have for the lead, thankfully Kendrick manages to infuse her with some semblance of charisma amidst the sneers. And don;t expect any surprises - the story is as formulaic as it gets, but then again, Beca does say that's why she doesn't watch many movies.Pitch Perfect doesn't pretend to be something it isn't: it's a light hearted competition "drama" with some impressive vocal talent who execute a collection of innovative music choices and a heavy laugh quotient. And that's a lot more than most movies can lay claim to.