Director: Jason Moore
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Alexis Knapp, Rebel Wilson, Elisabeth Banks, Anna Camp, Skylar Astin and Adam DeVine
Running Time: 112 minutes
Synopsis: The Barden Bellas are used to success, but at last year’s national college a cappella championships, they performed disastrously. Desperate to relaunch themselves and challenge for the championship again, they go about recruiting a motley crew of freshers.
The film’s title doesn’t just refer to the plot, but also to the producer, whose pitch to Hollywood was: ‘This is going to be MEAN GIRLS meets BRIDESMAIDS meets GLEE’. This film is undoubtedly going to be the breakout hit of the autumn.
Beca (Anna Kendrick) plays the loner freshman, who is more interested in a DJ career than college, and even less in joining an a cappella group. Having promised her father, who is a lecturer at the college, that she will make more of an effort to integrate into college life, she reluctantly joins the Bellas, after an embarrassing episode in the public shower area.
The story revolves around the Bella’s battle with the Treble Makers, a rival all-male a cappella group from the same college, as they both try to win the national championship finals. The Treble Makers are led by college jock, Bumper (Adam DeVine). Beca’s love interest, Jesse (Skylar Astin) also enrols with team Treble Maker.
In the Bellas, we have the quiet one, the butch lesbian, the uptight leader, and the scene stealer, aka fat Amy (Rebel Wilson). Apart from the obvious similarities in the poster to BRIDESMAIDS, Rebel Wilson also plays a similar character to Melissa McCarthy’s role in BRIDESMAIDS. She gets all the best lines with the best jokes. From exercising by ‘horizontal running’ to refusing to kiss a jock, she’s always very watchable. Expect her to be in similar roles in films to come.
Anna Kendrick also impressed with her performance, proving she’s capable of anchoring a film as a leading lady. The loner freshman in college might have been done to death, but she brings a sense of earthiness and believability to her role. Rebel Wilson might get the best lines, but Anna Kendrick is what holds the film together. In less competent hands, her relationship with Skylar Astin might have been cringe worthy, but they show real chemistry, meaning you can genuinely root for a happy ending.
Where the film really shines is in the script department, which was written by Kay Cannon (who also writes for 30 ROCK). This could have turned out to be another HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, but instead it is sharp, witty and insightful. However, a few of the sub-plots work less well. The thread following Beca’s relationship with her father feels forced and unnecessary.
PITCH PERFECT isn’t the most original, but where it succeeds is distilling the best of other hit films and presenting an attractive package together in one. The music works well; whether it’s 80s hits or splicing up modern day pop songs, it’s definitely a soundtrack to own. As for the film, get pitch slapped and see it first, before you start wondering what everyone else in college or your office is talking about.