Pitch Perfect is one of those movies that I objectively know is not a great movie, but I still love anyway. There are some cliches, and lots of corny song and dance numbers, and the leading male looks like he could be Dane Cook’s younger brother – all things which, on some level, bother me. But the movie is funny, the actresses who make up the a capella group are all wonderful, and – dammit – I actually enjoy corny song and dance numbers in a secret shame kind of way.
The movie reminded me of Bring It On, only in an a capella world. Think about it: an uptight, controlling blonde (Kirsten Dunst in Bring It On and Anna Camp here) leads the group, rigidly sticking to what worked in the past even though it’s no longer helping the group win in the present. An “alternative” outsider (Eliza Dushku in Bring It On and Anna Kendrick here) comes in to shake up the group and lead it to triumph. So, like I said, the formula may be is cliche, but in the same way I enjoyed Bring It On (I can still sing the words to the opening credits cheer scene), I liked this too.
I think my enjoyment of the movie comes down to two things: 1) a weakness for geeky a capella humor and 2) Rebel Wilson being awesome. Starting with the first, if you love music jokes, this movie is for you. Cheesy though it may be, I chuckled every time a character inserted “aca” in front of a word (“aca-scuse me?”). And, you can’t tell me that the phrase “pitch-slapped” isn’t kind of funny, right? Ground breaking comedy this is not, but it’s a fun diversion.
And second, Rebel Wilson, better known until now as one half of the creepy sibling roommates in Bridesmaids (“At first I did not know it was your diary. I thought it was a very sad handwritten book”), was awesome. She steals every scene she’s in; without her, I don’t think this would be much of a movie at all. I also have to give a shout out to a minor character who was hilarious: Hana Mae Lee as Lilly, the super quiet Asian who whispers terrifying things under her breath (“I ate my twin in the womb”). This recurring gag never failed to make me laugh.
So, in sum, this movie isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon – grab your girlfriends and get yourselves to the theater.
My Grade: B+
(Image via Filmofilia)