Pitch Perfect. Bitches find their A capella mojo

What do you do after driving 12 hours straight from Newcastle to Melbourne?

You go to the movies.

After eating a burger.

That is how I found myself watching Pitch Perfect at 9:30 pm on New Years day. A lesser movie would have been a problem under these trying circumstances but luckily Pitch Perfect is well above average.

In fact I came out of watching Pitch Perfect feeling more refreshed than I was when I went in.

Pitch Perfect brings us into the hitherto unknown world of the college circuit A capella sub-culture.

do you want some of this pitch?

do you want some of this pitch?

4 parts music, 3 parts dance, 2 parts weird and 1 part geek the A capella scene is a seam rich in parody and comedic potential which Pitch Perfect taps with assurance and enthusiasm.

A perfect way to start 2013.

Featuring a strong ensemble cast Pitch Perfect centers on the Bardon Bellas an all girl group, who though while technically proficient lack the flair and energy of their all boy arch rivals the Treble Makers.

A humiliating defeat in unusual circumstances at the Nationals sees the Bellas rebuilding in the new college year, their reputation in tatters.
So a campus drive to get new members introduces us to self-labelled Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and recalcitrant hipster Beca (Anna Kendrick), amongst others.
Beca has gone to College under sufferance, preferring to mix and craft music mashups.

Shits getting serious

Shits getting serious

The leaders of the Bellas Aubrey (Anna Camp), and Chloe (Brittany Snow) have had to work creatively with their entry criteria to allow these unlikely recruits in.

But its not just up to Aubrey and Cloe. Bardon must keep their standards up and a hilarious try-out is conducted by Justin (Jacob Wysocki) and Tommy (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). A favourite of mine.

For their part Fat Amy and Beca can take or leave the whole A capella scene, an attitude that infuriates true-believer Aubrey.

Meanwhile the Treblemakers have recruited Jesse, a talented and witty movie-tragic who falls for Beca. First amongst Aubrey’s many onerous and byzantine A capella-related rules is a strict prohibition on dating Treblemakers. Oh no! It doesn’t seem to be a major problem however as Beca doesn’t like Jesse or movies confessing that she doesn’t even bother to watch them to the end because they are boring. (See The Hobbit). This scuttles Jesse’s major seduction plan involving a laptop, “The Breakfast Club“, “Simple Minds” and a bucket-load of charm and wit. Yeah – Beca’s a bitch alright.

Treblemakers in full flight led by Jesse

Treblemakers in full flight led by Jesse

However no time for romance – as the A capella season starts anew and a grueling series of quarter-finals and semi-finals see the Bardon Bellas and The TrebleMakers fight it out against other groups for the chance to make it to the nationals. Aubrey wants to atone for previous humiliations, and has thus far tolerated no deviation from the Bella’s previous numbers or A capella orthodoxy.

The rest of the Bellas grate against Aubrey’s intolerance and lack of creativity. The leader of the Treblemakers Bumper (Adam DeVine) just wants to dominate and everybody else gets dragged along for the ride, in what appears to be a grinding and foretold conclusion. That is, until the Bellas rise up, break-out and find their mojo with Beca reaching out to a disheartened Jesse in the climatic scene. Brilliant stuff. This is a very funny, feel good film. Excellent performances – musically and comedically with well written parts and a healthy self-awareness.

The love story didn’t drag TOO much and there was plenty to enjoy with the mix of retro and modern songs and dance numbers. Rebel Wilson has been singled out as the standout performer and she was very good – make no mistake. I think the rest of the main cast was very strong as well, with some excellent performances also turned in by many of the minor characters.

A special mention has to go out to John Michael Higgens and Elizabeth Banks who played the A capella commentators. Polished, surreal and wrong for all the right reasons.

For Australian readers – I’m sure there is a political joke relevant to us at the end – see if you can spot it. Rebel Wilson’s influence maybe ?

9 out of 10

A misogynist perchance ?

A misogynist perchance ?


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Categories: Comedy, Films, Musical

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

5 replies

  1. Happy to read you enjoyed it. I didn’t know anything about it going in but it was a while since I laughed so hard!

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