‘Pitch Perfect,’ a finely tuned film

Pitchfork: 4/5

Rated: PG-13

 

The tagline for “Pitch Perfect” is, “Get pitch slapped.” The movie will pitch slap its audiences with its great a cappella musical renditions and witty storytelling. A movie like this could have been made with little or no story and people would still go see it. But “Pitch Perfect” did not take the easy route. The producers of “Pitch Perfect” sought to make a good film. The end product was a pleasure to watch on all accounts.

The film took its time to develop its major and minor characters. Becca, played by Anna Kendrick, is a freshman in college who wants to move to Los Angles to make music. But due to a series of events, she enters an all-girls a cappella group called “The Bellas.” Aubrey, played by Anna Camp, is the dominant leader of the group and represents tradition and the old-way of thinking. Becca symbolizes the “modern” way and the shift in music today. The conflicting ideologies give the movie depth.

Becca’s modern take on music, including remixing and hip-hop, added flare to the groups’s tired music arrangements. Shockingly, her love interest, Jesse (Skylar Astin), has purpose in the plot; he is not just a pretty face. Who he is, what he means to her and his particular love for music all have an impact on the plot. Every character in this movie had a satisfying amount of development. There is a sincere scene where Jesse’s roommate, who is a very minor character, has his time to shine. All the miniscule details about him that were introduced throughout the film came together beautifully. Most of the characters have similar moments, which give the entire film purpose.

The music is absolutely phenomenal. Most people will go out and buy the soundtrack after watching this movie. Anticipation builds as audiences yearn for the next song. Every song is fantastic and the choreography for each rendition is spectacular. Usually in these kinds of films, the music gets in the way of the narrative. For “Pitch Perfect,” all the music makes sense in the movie. The music did not just elevate the film, it became it, like how a certain actor or setting becomes the film. The music alone will get people into a seat, but the movie’s substance will keep them there.

Sadly, there is one minor problem with the film. The movie did feel like it stole aspects of “Bridesmaids.” This becomes apparent with the focus on gross-out humor making “Pitch Perfect” a raunchy comedy with an all-girl cast. “Pitch Perfect” did not rip off “Bridesmaids” entirely, but due to the success of “Bridesmaids,” it is obvious that the filmmakers took inspiration in some regards. It would be fair to point out that the film also took elements of “Easy A” and the TV show “Glee.” But, if a film is going to take parts of other successful movies and TV shows, they better do it well, and “Pitch Perfect” did.

“Pitch Perfect” is worth seeing. The scenes with Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins’s commentary on the a cappella performances is worth the ticket price alone.  Both Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins are absolutely hysterical. Also, this movie is not just for the female demographic; men will find this movie to be a memorable experience.

 

Reach the reporter at  tverti@asu.edu