Pitch Perfect, and I’m going to fight hard to avoid the puns that are already screaming to be made here, is finely tuned, outstandingly polished, instant-classic entertainment. One of the funniest movies of 2012.
Here’s a trailer, which, as always, has a scene we don’t see in the movie.
Released October 5, 2012
Written by Kay Cannon, based on the book by Mickey Rapkin
Directed by Jason Moore
Starring Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Skylar Astin, Alexis Knapp, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Banks, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Ben Platt
* * * * *
Beca (Kendrick) shows up at Barden University a year after the all-female a-capella group horribly bombed at the state championships when one of their members puked on stage. That member is Aubrey (Camp), a tightly-wound young woman who is now the leader of the Barden Bellas. Her right-hand woman is the looser, fun-loving, very sweet Chloe (Snow). These two try to recruit Beca on the first day of classes, but Beca wants to be a music producer, a DJ, not a singer. She turns them down.
Chloe and Aubrey try to recruit others to their auditions, the most interesting of which is Fat Amy (Wilson), who is round but has no reason to believe that should affect her life or outlook on her social life.
At the same time, Jesse (Astin) shows up at Barden, friendly and filled with skilled vocal chords. His roommate, Benji (Platt), is an extreme nerd who can also sing. Both try out for the all-male a-capella group, but only Jesse gets in.
Beca decides to join the Bellas, but quickly butts heads with Aubrey, who believes that their traditional set list is the right way to go, whereas Beca thinks the group needs to try new things in order to compete.
Group dynamics ensue, along with a friendship between Beca and Jesse that blossoms into more. The story moves on in a generally formulaic fashion, but is populated by a bunch of people, mostly women, who are genuine and familiar and smart and really funny.
There is little to dislike about Pitch Perfect. The formulaic underdog story is predictable, but forgivable. There are a couple of gross-out moments that feel a little gratuitous, although the second is surprisingly useful to the story.
And that’s it. Pitch Perfect is delightfully written, acted, paced, scored, and edited. It could have come off twee, or like it has a message, or completely stupid– but it is full of genuine, authentic laughs at unforced, natural humor, much of which comes from snappy and intelligent dialogue. The dialogue, with some apologies, is written and tuned to a perfect pitch. This is an instant classic because of the incredibly quotable dialogue and deeply interesting and fun and engaging characters.
Added fun is provided by Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins as play-by-play announcers during the singing competitions. Just hilarious.
Warning: Soapbox moment. This reviewer has refused to see Bridesmaids because, while it sounds incredibly funny, I feel like it is trying to make a statement to the effect that women can be just as crass and low-brow as men. And that they almost need to do so in order to be funny. I think that’s deeply insulting to women. Pitch Perfect is unbelievably hilarious and it’s not because a bunch of women are acting like crass men; they’re being genuine people who are true to their core and are smart and fun and adorable and sometimes gross but lots of times just good people doing funny things. I loved this movie because it’s not making a deliberate statement; its sheer perfect comedy makes a statement all by itself. Women are just as funny as men and they don’t have to act crass or gross or somebody else’s definition of edgy.
You need to see this movie.
Content warnings: some harsh language, some gross-out moments, a little sexual dialogue and suggested sexual situations.
Writing: 5 Acting: 5 Overall: 5
Be a perfect dear and pitch this review over to your social networks, why don’t you?