Thursday, May 14, 2015

Movie Review: "Pitch Perfect" (2012)

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Movie"Pitch Perfect"
Director: Jason Moore
Year: 2012
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 52 minutes

The Bellas, an all-female acapella group from Barden University, are looking for new members to join their team. But after an incident involving projectile vomiting at the previous year's national competition, the women are finding it difficult to recruit new people to join. The 2 senior members of the Bellas decide to relax their standards, allowing a greater variety of women into the group. Once the new oddball group is set, tension builds between Bella leader Aubrey (Anna Camp), who wants to stick with their traditional style and singing numbers, and the reluctant yet musically inclined new member Beca (Anna Kendrick), who wants to take the Bellas in bold new directions to beat their arch rivals, the Treble Makers. 

"Pitch Perfect" is a perfect example of a female-centered comedy done right. It brings together an extremely varied group of women that have to come together as a cohesive unit in order to succeed. Being a film about acapella groups, of course, there is music involved, along with some great and unexpected performances by those involved. Anna Kendrick takes the lead role of Beca, a gal who wants to produce music for a living and creates mash-ups of popular songs in her spare time. Her dad is a professor on campus, and after he got re-married, he pushed her to attend Barden, which is not where she wants to be. Her dream is to produce in Los Angeles, and her dad agrees to let her move there if, after a year, she's still miserable in college. In an effort to get away from him, she reluctantly signs up for the Bellas and gets a whole lot more than she bargained for. The Bellas are led by the strict and regimented Aubrey, played by Anna Camp, who is trying to rebuild the group after she vomited on staged during the national acapella finals. With the help of Chloe, played by Brittany Snow, who actually recruits Beca to the group during an extremely awkward yet funny shower scene, the Bellas attempt to slowly but surely regain their place at the top. They are joined by Rebel Wilson's Fat Amy, who is extremely confident with high, positive self-image and flaunts her sexuality despite not fitting the society's ideal body type; Lilly, an extremely soft spoken Asian woman who is a little bizarre as she often speaks of setting fires to feel joy; Cynthia-Rose, played by Ester Dean, an African-American lesbian with a powerful set of pipes; and the ditzy and sexually-charged Stacie, played by Alexis Knapp. Jessica, played by Kelley Jackle, Denise, played Wanetah Walmsley, and Ashley, played Shelley Regner, round out the rest of the Bellas, who don't get much screen time but are certainly part of the core group. There are even a few self-awareness jokes about being part of these secondary characters, which we love seeing in comedies. Finally, Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins play acapella competition commentators, who are very reminiscent of Statler and Waldorf of "The Muppets" as they crack hilarious, often times offensive jokes at the expense of the Bellas and other performers throughout the film. All of this adds up to be one entertaining, sometimes raunchy lark.

While it may have been riding high off the success of the television show "Glee," "Pitch Perfect" is quite a funny film and one we can dig out of our DVD treasure trove and watch every now and then with the same amount of love as the first time we saw it. This is a movie about women from many different backgrounds who must come together and finding common ground despite their differences. It manages to actually get a couple empowering moments in there, too. The performances are excellent and we are glad Anna Kendrick has become the star she is now because of this film and even wound up scoring a pop hit with the original song "Cups," which will get stuck in your head if you're not careful. Though there is a formulaic plot, it doesn't necessarily detract from the film's overall enjoyable nature. The slight romantic subplot between Beca and Jesse, played by Skylar Astin, is not the the primary focus of the film and provides a gateway for most of the interactions to involve the Bellas themselves. As far as comedies go, this is a good one, and some fun musical performances make for a good time and pleasantly hilarious viewing experience.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB Rating: 7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 81%
Do we recommend the movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching: "The Other Woman"


  1. How could you not recommend this movie? It was phenomenal! The corny jokes, the unrealistic view of college life!

    1. We did recommend it! Here's our scale:
      0-3 = AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!
      3.5-4.5 = No
      5-5.5 = Meh.
      6-7.5 = Sure, why not?
      8-8.5 = Yes
      9-10 = ABSOLUTELY YES!!!