Saturday, May 25, 2013

Pitch Perfect (2012) ***

When I heard that Rebel Wilson, the blond, British girl from “Bridesmaids” who poured frozen peas on her tattoo, would be in “Pitch Perfect,” I knew I had to see it.  I was not disappointed.  “Pitch Perfect” is a lot of fun, and it turns out Rebel Wilson isn’t even the best thing in it.
The movie takes place at a college where a cappella singing groups are the big thing.  The most dominant group, the Treble-Makers, is an all-male group, and national champions.  The Bellas, a female group, were once competitive, but have seen their fortunes fall after their leader had an on-stage vomiting incident.  With their numbers decimated, the Bellas have to recruit desperately, taking on a group of misfits like Fat Amy (“I call myself that so twiggy bitches like you won’t say it behind my back.” - Rebel Wilson), a whispering Asian girl, and a grumpy alterna-hottie (Anna Kendrick).    Beca, the alternative girl, spends her time mixing music and warily flirting with one of the Treble-Makers (Skylar Astin), when she isn‘t rehearsing with the Bellas and challenging the conservative leadership of Chloe(Brittany Snow).   (No one in this movie spends their time attending college classes or studying.)
The plot isn’t nearly as important as the music.  Even more than the TV show “Glee,” “Pitch Perfect” tries to pack in as many musical numbers as possible, and fittingly, the singing is the most fun thing about the movie.  This is true even if they do trend heavily toward pop music (They even sing a Miley Cyrus song.)  As for comedy, I actually found Rebel Wilson to be a bit disappointing.  Her character in “Bridesmaids” was hilarious, but in “Pitch Perfect” the funniest thing about her is her name, Fat Amy.  Fortunately, the comedic slack is mostly taken up by Brittany Snow and Anna Camp, who play the Bella leaders, and Anna Kendrick, who is a decent straight-man in addition to being super-cute.  Did I mention these ladies can sing?  By far, however, the funniest part of the movie is the outrageous banter of John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks, who play the a cappella competition announcers.  It’s worth watching “Pitch Perfect” just for them.

3 stars out of 5

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