The Barden Bellas are a collegiate, all-girls a cappella singing group thriving on female pop songs and their perfect looks. After a disastrous failing at last year’s finals, they are forced to regroup. Among the new recruits is freshman Beca, an independent, aspiring DJ with no interest in the college life. But after she meets Jesse, from the rival all-male a cappella group, Beca has a new outlook and takes it upon herself to help the Bellas find their new look and sound and get back into the competition.
User Reviews: "Pitch Perfect" is basically "Bring It On", but with a cappella singing groups instead of cheerleaders and it’s also a million times funnier. Directed by Jason Moore and adapted by Kay Cannon from Mickey Rapkin’s novel, "Pitch Perfect" tells the story of Beca (played by Anna Kendrick) an aspiring DJ attending Barden University, who’s hobbies include seclusion, nonconforming and listening to Mashups (which kind of makes her a conformist). In an attempt to have Beca become more socially active, her father (who is also a professor at the University) urges her to join a club on campus. But upon perusing each club (especially the glee clubs) she quickly decides that the loner lifestyle is far less humiliating. That is, until a rather awkwardly nude run-in with one of the members of the The Bellas, an all-girl a cappella group on campus that sings nothing but Ace of Base. And since The Bellas are coming off of an embarrassing loss at the previous year’s singing competition, Beca, as well as a multitude of other "a ca-losers"; including Fat Amy (as advertized) and Lilly, the girl who can apparently speak no higher than a whisper, are asked to try out in a desperate hope that a group of misfits could be just the thing that sends the conservative Bellas all the way to the finals of the national Glee-esque competition. And if this doesn’t sound generic enough, there is also a love story subplot centered around Beca and a guy who looks shockingly like Dane Cook. OK, so if this sounds like every teen flick that you’ve ever seen, about a misunderstood misfit who ends up helping the popular kids (that were mean to her in the beginning of the movie) win their something-or-other championship/tournament, only to discover that in the end that they are all the same no matter their social standing, then that is only because, from synopsis alone, "Pitch Perfect is exactly that. But before you write this dark horse off, let me just say that due to a sharply satirical script and a surprisingly hilarious, eccentric and immensely engaging cast, which include the likes of Brittany Snow, Hana Mae Lee, Rebel Wilson (as Fat Amy) Skylar Astin and Anna Kendrick, giving a performance which not only solidifies herself as a true leading lady in any genre, but also as the new Kristen Bell, but with talent, "Pitch Perfect" does elevate itself far above the mundane-ness of your everyday teen comedy. In fact, from the non-stop laughs, to the quite satirical teenage dialogue, to the perfectly hilarious "Best in Show"-esque banter from Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins, who play the two commentators of the national a cappella competition, "Pitch Perfect", aside from a curiously abrupt ending, works on EVERY level; even in its rarest of sappy moments.
"Pitch Perfect" vs. "Glee": The main reason "Pitch Perfect" works so well is actually quite simple. Where "Glee" is so in love with its self-proclaimed perception that glee clubs are the new "cool", this is a comedy that isn’t afraid to make fun of a cappella groups, glee clubs and people randomly breaking out into song, while at the same time presenting interesting characters that audiences want to root for. So, if you where thinking of avoiding this film on the basis of your dislike of "Glee" (or that awful show "The Sing-Off") but find yourself being dragged to see it anyways, no need to worry because chances are you will be happily surprised by what "Pitch Perfect" has to offer.
Final Thought: Even though most of the comedy here is on the cruder side, this is still a PG-13 venture. In short, "Pitch Perfect" is not the raunchy female buddy comedy, filled with overlong skits about feces that "Bridesmaids" was. But good news "Pitch Perfect" is so much more funny and (more importantly) more accessible than "Bridesmaids" will ever be. What I mean by "accessible" is, men will be able to watch this movie without hearing the phrase: "You wouldn’t get it because you’re a man." All kidding aside, I haven’t seen a comedy with this much clever teenage personality since "Easy A". So, in the comedic cesspool that has been 2012, filled with half-assed attempts such as "That’s My Boy" and "The Watch", "Pitch Perfect" is not only my pick for the biggest surprise to come out of the genre this year, but also the funniest movie of the year (so far); narrowly edging out "21 Jump Street".
Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland
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