Perfectly Balanced, Though Still Predictable

My second review for this weekend has to do with Anna Kendrick’s latest film entitled Pitch Perfect.  For those who haven’t seen the trailer, Beca a new college student has arrived at Barden University due to the insistence of her father.  Her college career starts off rough, but soon get recruited into the ranks of the Barden Bellas, an a cappella group led by Chloe (Brittany Snow) and Aubrey (Anna Camp).  Soon Beca, along with a handful of other songstresses, will work to not only try to overcome their testosterone heavy counterparts the Treble Makers, but also overcome their own struggles as well.

Ever since I saw the trailer back in the summer, I had my doubts that this movie was going to be anything entertaining.  Despite my skepticism though, I actually enjoyed this movie enough to see it twice in the same night.  So what made this movie so entertaining for me?  Let’s start with the story.  Although the main plot is still a girl takes on a world tale, Pitch Perfect’s plot is kept entertaining by the subplots intertwined within it.  While Beca plays a keystone that connects these mini tales, many of the other characters are pivotal in these side stories.  Love, competition, fear of losing control, and a few other issues all arise in this movie, which I feel will entertain most movie goers.  As a warning though, audience members who want a little more twist and surprise in their story are going to be disappointed with this plot.  Almost every ending or outcome can be seen coming a mile away that made many of the audience members go oooohhhhhh.

The plot wasn’t the only thing that was delivered well in this film though.  The next big strength of this film is the incredible array of comedy.  Unlike most modern day comedies, this film had a balance of comedy styles to keep the laughs rolling.  Sarcastic comments, well timed one liners, awkward situational comedy and many other tools kept me laughing the whole movie.  However, it is not just enough to have multiple comedy styles to keep the movie entertaining; the movie must also balance the amount of time each style is on screen.  Surprisingly this movie did just that, the sarcasm was not overdone, the disguised sexual limericks were placed at key moments, and the situational comedy was only used sparingly so that the cast didn’t look like clumsy fools.  Despite the balance though, there were two things in particular I enjoyed the most above the rest.  The first was some of the clever insults at modern day entertainment, such as shows like Glee and Modern Family.  I applaud the writers for poking at some of the overdramatic situations in these shows, and hope to see some similar styles in a possible sequel to this film.  The second thing I enjoyed the most was surprisingly Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) who was perhaps the driving force for most of the comedy.  While Wilson’s characters are normally annoyingly stupid for me and spout random one liners that just don’t affect me, this movie was much different.  Amy’s dialog had a mixture of well-timed insults, over dramatic delivered lines, and of course some stupid comments that will keep the audience laughing.  But Amy’s words aren’t the only thing that keep the humor coming.  Amy also has some mannerisms, dance moves, and other actions that will have you in stitches.  Everything about this character is random and unpredictable and you never quite know what is going to happen next with her open book nature.  Throw in the other characters, some of which are incredibly beautiful, that she interacts with and you have perhaps one of the most entertaining characters since the sister in Bridesmaids.

I guess the other thing to talk about in this film is of course the film’s songs that most likely grabbed your attention.  It may surprise you that I actually enjoyed some of their covers, as both male and females were able to skillfully blend their voices to make a toe tapping number.  This movie covers many genres, but leans a little more towards the hip hop numbers that younger audience members will know.  I enjoyed the mash-ups in particular, as the directors manage to put a nice spin on songs that alone I wouldn’t have listened to.  The dance numbers that were mixed in were also enjoyable, as the performers moved, swayed, and glided across the stage to some good choreography, though most of their moves paled in comparison to the Step Up genre.  Another thing that I appreciated was that it was not just one person singing the song, cough Lea Michelle in Glee, but rather many of the characters had a chance to show off their pipes.  While many might be looking for one singer, this reviewer likes to see groups unite and keep the songs fresh and upbeat.  Finally, the music was selected more on entertainment rather than expressing emotion, which is what I wanted to see in a competitive singing movie.  That’s right folks when the characters sing it’s not because they are feeling sad about not getting a solo, but instead because the song fits in a competitive category.

Okay to wrap this up, Pitch Perfect is indeed one of the more fun movies I’ve seen in a while.  With diverse and balanced comedy, entertaining numbers, good acting by many, and for me pretty girls with gorgeous smiles, many movie goers will not be disappointed.  I strongly recommend you go see this film and laugh your pants off at this feel good movie.  My only concern is that the popularity and vague ending might spur on a sequel that will be rushed and a mere shell of this movie, but that’s a bridge to cross later.  My scores for this movie are the following:

Comedy/Music:  8.0-8.5

Movie Overall:  8.0

Please leave constructive criticism to help me improve my writing.

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