Sonic Cinema

Sounds, Visions and Insights by Brian Skutle

Pitch Perfect

Grade : A- Year : 2012 Director : Jason Moore Running Time : 1hr 52min Genre : ,
Movie review score

I’m not really surprised that I enjoyed “Pitch Perfect” as much as I did. It’s about creativity, with a healthy appreciation for film soundtracks– the fact that Anna Kendrick, the lovely actress from “50/50,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” and “Up in the Air,” is the lead character only seals the deal. Granted, when it comes to creativity, there’s not a whole lot the a capella college comedy has to say with much depth, but in the character of Jesse (the inevitable romantic lead played by Skylar Astin), the film, and its script by Kay Cannon, understands the power of a great film soundtrack perfectly.

As for the movie itself, it’s a very funny, and wonderfully musical, underdog comedy in the same way another Universal film– “Bring It On” –was back in 2000, before it became a direct-to-DVD franchise only die hards would return to. Kendrick is terrific as Beca, an outsider more interested in DJing than singing before she is recruited by the Bellas, the university’s all-female singing group, to help them redeem an embarassing episode at last year’s national competition. Of course they do, and she does, but it’s the journey that keeps us watching, as well as a sharp cast that includes not just Kendrick but Rebel Wilson as the surprising “Fat Amy,” Brittany Snow and Anna Camp as the Bellas’s co-captains, and several others in key roles of comedic importance (including John Michael Higgens and Elizabeth Banks as the commentators, “Best in Show”-style). And if you don’t mind a “Glee”-like approach to songs from artists like Ace of Base, Gloria Estefan, Madonna, Bruno Mars, and Simple Minds (trust me, it’s better than “Glee,” which gets a well-deserved jab in the gut itself), it’s a music-driven film that lets you leave with a smile on your face for all the right reasons.

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