There is a certain percentage of us unwilling to admit that they love Glee. Yes, I mean that series that has kids with great voices, who perform mash-ups and modernised classics. I, myself, am perfectly happy to admit that I will dance myself silly to the Glee-inspired playlist on my music library if the mood strikes.
Glee: The Movie may have been involved for a recent surge of popstars taking their concert footage/life story to the big screen, but when it comes to making a proper film with musicality, we need something more than what we see in the media. Cue a cinematic mash-up that combines musicality, the clique-ness of Mean Girls and the gross-gag comedy from Bridesmaids.
Pitch Perfect is set around the cutthroat world of college a cappella competitions. Aspiring music producer Beca (Anna Kendrick) enrols in Bardem University, where she is reluctantly joins the Bardem Bellas, an all-girl a cappella group captained by uptight Aubrey (Anna Camp) and Chloe (Brittany Snow). Amidst their unconventional recruits and boring set lists, the Bellas work their way to the Finals, all the while facing constant competition from their male group, The Treblemakers, fronted by prick-of-epic-proportions Bumper (Adam Devine).
Seeing as this is a film about singing groups with a competitive element, it is easy to draw comparisons between this and Glee. This unfortunately makes the film almost cliché in the most obvious areas: the star-crossed lovers, the underdog element that runs throughout…I could go on, but seeing as this is a recurring habit with films like this, I’m going to avoid being like a broken record – and skip it (see what I did there? 🙂)
Thankfully, the strengths of PP easily outweigh the weaknesses; Kendrick is watchably wonderful as super-smiley yet rebellious Beca and Skylar Astin, who plays Beca’s love interest Jesse, shows that his character has heart as well as a pretty face. Additional praise, undoubtedly, goes to Rebel Wilson for her performance as Fat Amy and Ester Dean, as they pour in their comedic and musical talents into their supporting roles, providing substance to Kay Cannon’s witty script.
Best known for her work on comedy series 30 Rock, Cannon is able to bring out the cattiness of girl groups (possibly from Tina Fey’s experience with Mean Girls, perhaps?) as well as bring out laughs that are unexpected but – at times -tolerably gross. Along with Moore’s almost sensitive direction in dealing with the fast pace of the film, the combined efforts present the film as what it is – quite simply, a big ball of fun.
Silly, predictable but funny as hell with an infectiously catchy soundtrack, Pitch Perfect is a ray of cinematic sunshine. Just close your eyes and enjoy the high.