Movie Review: ‘Pitch Perfect’

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Pitch Perfect Cast

Ashley (SHELLY REGNER), Stacie (ALEXIS KNAPP), Fat Amy (REBEL WILSON), Aubrey (ANNA CAMP), Cynthia Rose (ESTER DEAN), Beca (ANNA KENDRICK), Lilly (HANA MAE LEE), Denise (WANETAH WALMSLEY), Chloe (BRITTANY SNOW) and Jessica (KELLEY ALICE JAKLE) in 'Pitch Perfect' - Photo © 2012 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Reviewed by Ian Forbes

If the 21st century has been about anything up to this point, it’s been the acceptance and celebration of nerds and geeks. What once was considered the exclusive domain of social pariahs rocking slide-rules, 12-sided dice, and coke bottle glasses have become the mainstream. See the Lord of the Rings, Comic-Book Movies, and Glee for exhibits A-C.

Falling right in line with activities that weren’t often described as ‘cool’, ‘rad’, ‘hip’, or whatever term your generation prefers, there’s a cappella singing. And yet, despite any initial desire to label members of that subculture socially inept, Pitch Perfect infers that this is what the cool kids are doing and despite my own inability to warble out a decent tune I had a tremendous amount of fun watching them all ‘do their thang’ … wait … that reference is dated … whatever.

In the film, Anna Kendrick is a wannabe DJ/Music Producer only in college to satisfy her father’s wishes. She finds herself being accepted in the campus’ all-female a cappella group and when she isn’t falling for a member of a rival all-male group (Skylar Astin), she’s learning to bond with the women on her squad. It’s ironic that the film itself makes a point of saying how films are too predictable when you should already be able to describe the last 5 minutes of this film based on what you’ve read in this review, but sometimes formulaic is okay.

One could probably write a thesis marking the similarities in plot structure and character archetypes between this and Bring It On (no, seriously). However, as an unabashed admirer of the Rancho Carne Toros Cheerleading team this all worked in favor of Anna Kendrick and her cohorts. Sometimes a simple underdog story with stunningly obvious character development, trite metaphors meant to sound deep, and a resolution you see coming before the opening credits roll, is simply comforting – like chicken soup for the cinematic soul … wow … that was lame … please forgive me.

What I’m saying in a far too roundabout way is that while I generally wish for and give praise to unconventionality and breaking with Hollywood Happy Ending Syndrome in favor of portraying more realistic scenarios, it’s also nice to watch a movie simply because it’s fun. And if there’s one word to describe Pitch Perfect, it’s fun (I saw this twice already and would go back for more). Whether it’s the very funny actors elevating an already funny script, or the terrifically conceived, produced, and performed musical renditions – the film rarely stops being pure entertainment from start to finish. As long as cheesy setups and a cappella singing is within your capability to be enjoyed, this will surely be worth the price of admission and it will be making it onto my Blu-ray shelf when the time comes.

GRADE: A-

Pitch Perfect hits theaters in limited release on September 28, 2012 and expands on October 5th. The film is rated PG-13 for sexual material, language and drug references.

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