Sometimes when you go to see a film you are not looking for Dead Man Walking or Silence of the Lambs or even Shakespeare in Love. You just want to turn off for a couple of hours and are looking for something light and entertaining. That doesn’t mean that you want something mind numbing (read: stupid), you just don’t want twists, turns or other complexities. If you want my recommendation for when you are in this type of mood then it would be Pitch Perfect.
Going into teen flicks you never know what to expect. Most are crap. It is the rare few that are worth your time and money. Pitch Perfect by director Jason Moore (directed episodes of Dawson’s Creek and Brothers & Sisters) is a film that is smart, funny and contains plenty of great music. A good combination, if you ask me.
It is not the story per se that is the part that raises it up above the average. The story is a simple one about a young woman (Anna Kendrick – Up in the Air, Twilight) who placates her professor father by going to university when her heart is really in music production. It turns out that deciding to go to Barden College is one of the best decisions Beca has ever made as it has two highly competitive a capella singing groups. One of these groups is an all-male group called the Trebelmakers and the other is an all-girl group called the Barden Bellas. Beca, who can really sing, is at first not interested but after a member of the group (Brittany Snow – Hairspray, John Tucker Must Die) hears her singing in the shower she is strong-armed into being a member of the Barden Bellas. Once she is part of the group, Beca really begins to bloom.
There is your usual romance and coming-of-age storylines but what sets it apart is the attention the film pays to friendship and following your heart when it comes to career choices. Beca really comes into her own when she becomes friends (and maybe more) with Jesse (Skylar Astin – Taking Woodstock, Hamlet 2), a member of the Trebelmakers, and finds her voice when she speaks up and tries to change the musical direction of the Barden Bellas.
Pitch Perfect allows us to discover that Anna Kendrick is not only an intelligent actress but the girl can sing. So can Brittany Snow, Anna Camp (The Help) and Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids, Ghost Rider) – who is hilarious in every scene she is in and pretty much steals them all. Yes, this is a musical but doesn’t fall into the cheesiness that often befalls Glee. Trust me.
While the story is not complex that doesn’t mean there is nothing to sink your teeth into. The dialogue is all witty, snappy, sarcastic, and well-written/delivered. I won’t be surprised to hear some of the lines from the film being uttered by teens.
- Starships, the Pitch Perfect Music Video
- Deleted and Extended Scenes
- Backstage at Barden
- On the Set: Burrito Drive By!
- A Look Inside
- Feature Commentary with Director Jason Moore and Producers Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman
- Feature Commentary with Producer Paul Brooks