Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Movie Review: Pitch Perfect (2012)

Pitch Perfect is a dream come true for a cappella nerds. I've watched this movie twice now, not counting the multiple times I've rewound to the best parts. In fact, I plan on seeing it again. That's a testament to how fun this movie is, and how big an a cappella nerd I am. Laaaaa~

The movie centers on Becca (Anna Kendrick from Up in the Air, and, yes, Twilight, you may commence vomiting), a college freshman. Becca wears heavy eyeshadow, loves to mix music on her MacBook Pro, and is deemed "too alternative" by Aubrey (Anna Camp), the leader of The Bellas group. Fortunately, her lieutenant Chloe (Brittany Snow from Hairspray) believes in Becca's talent and convinces her to join. From there, it's a whirlwind of practice montages, a riff-off, dramatic tension, and a supposedly straight dude trying to win Becca's hand, as the Bellas work toward winning the a cappella championships. Which, spoiler alert: they do! Of course. It's called a formula and it works, people.

The writing is snappy, and the characters are utterly delightful. The best by far is Australian actress Rebel Wilson, who you may remember as the roommate from Bridesmaids. She plays Fat Amy, confident and very popular with the guys, apparently. There's a character named Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) who speaks so softly that the volume needs to be turned up way high to understand her. Everyone else suspects Cynthia Rose (Ester Dean) of batting for the other team; Stacie (Alexis Knapp) has huge boobs and needs to be retrained to stop grabbing them during performances. And guess what? All of the actresses are past college age. The youngest is Knapp, who's 23. I guess no one between the ages of 18 and 21 had the talent and recognizability to be in this movie? Whatevs. I'm not complaining.

As for the romance subplot, the less said, the better. This movie is really about "synchronized lady-dancing to a Mariah Carey chart-topper," to quote the uptight Aubrey. It's about a loner who find friends among a group of misfits. It's about finally realizing who you are and fighting for that. It's about music. It's about singing. It's also about how you randomly find the most insanely talented people in college, people who will sadly go on to lose their creative spirit by working at soul-crushing desk jobs. (single tear rolling down cheek)

Apropos of nothing, The Breakfast Club plays a key role in Pitch Perfect, which means you are obligated to watch it if you grew up in the 80's.

The bottom line: Pitch Perfect features excellent singing, great one-liners, and tolerable levels of subplot. Recommended for all musical nerds!