Pitch Perfect (2012)

Pitch PerfectForced to attend Barden University under the watchful eye of her professor father, wannabe music producer Beca (Anna Kendrick) joins the college’s all-female a cappella group after being bribed with a all-expenses-paid trip to LA. The Bellas, fresh from a humiliating defeat at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella in which one of their number threw up over the audience, could benefit greatly from Beca’s skills, if only group leader Aubrey would break from tradition and allow input from others.

There’s a lot to like about Pitch Perfect, Jason Moore’s musical-comedy loosely based on Mickey Rapkin’s book of the same name. The songs are great, the script is often laugh-out-loud funny, and Anna Kendrick once again proves a hugely likeable screen presence. What’s more, Rebel Wilson finally manages to put paid to the hype thanks to worthy material, after duds What To Expect When Your Expecting and A Few Best Men squandered her talents.

But while I tapped my toes at the various mix-ups, sniggered unapologetically at Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins’ callous commentary, and found myself warming to Kendrick’s angsty archetype, I couldn’t help feeling I was being short-changed by what could — and maybe should — have been something of a genre-classic. And then I started getting angry.

Although there is a lot to like, there is an almost equal amount to hate. For every showstopper, there is a dud track. For every inspired insult, there is a lazy play on the word a cappella. By far the biggest problem with Pitch Perfect, however, is that despite the efforts of Kendrick and Wilson, there is not a single character in the entire movie.

Starring a number of unknowns (though you might recognise Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Harry Potter‘s Freddy Stroma), the various supporting players fail to make any impression whatsoever. Worse than forgettable, however, Anna Camp is utterly excruciating as the group’s tyrannical leader, her performance as fake as the vomit which she emits repetitively from her mouth.

Equally problematic is Kay Cannon’s screenplay. While the characters may never convince as recogniseable human beings (one attempt at characterisation-through-Breakfast Club falls embarrassingly flat), they don’t really work  as fiction either. There are a truly staggering number of loose ends come film’s end. Most of the conflicts established in the opening act are left to peter out or disappear completely, unresolved.

Opening strongly with an a cappella rendition of the Universal theme tune, Pitch Perfect sadly falls short of expectation. Half-baked characters, overwritten dialogue and occasionally amateurish direction plague Moore’s film, while the musical numbers are rarely as memorable as they need to be.3-Stars


About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

3 Responses to Pitch Perfect (2012)

  1. Nostra says:

    I had no expectations for this movie and loved it…actually saw it twice in one week. Almost made my 2012 top 10 list. It was just so much fun!

  2. Pingback: December 2012 – I’m gonna finish him like a cheesecake « popcornaddict

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