The musings of a feminist pop culture fanatic

Film Review: Pitch Perfect

After a particularly atrocious week (seriously, it could go down in history as the shittiest week ever), my best friend and I set out to see Perks of Being a Wallflower. Unfortunately, we live in the middle of the country, so very few limited releases actually get to us on opening weekend. I maintain that it’s horribly cruel of them to advertise it so heavily and then not release it anywhere near me. So, we decided to go see Pitch Perfect instead.

The plot is fairly straight forward: Beca (Anna Kendrick) is a college freshman who has absolutely no interest in college. All she wants to do is move to Los Angeles and become a record producer. However, her dad (John Benjamin Hickey) is a professor at Barden University and decides that she must get a college education first. Since she can go to Barden for free, that’s just what she’ll do. Beca enjoys DJing and making various mixes of different songs. She gets a job at the college radio station, but since she’s a freshman, it mainly consists of reshelving CDs and records. After a couple months of school, Beca’s dad makes a deal with her. If she will put herself out there and join just one club (he doesn’t count the radio station), he will help her move to Los Angeles the next year if she still wants to.

A cappella culture is very serious at Barden. There are four groups. One sings a lot of show tunes and Madonna. One is the High Notes (emphasis on the “high” part of their name). That leaves the Treble Makers (the all-boys group that are mainly total assholes) and the Barden Bellas. One of the Bellas, Chloe (Brittany Snow), hears Beca singing in the shower and barges in to the stall demanding that she audition. Beca decides she will give it a shot and, of course, ends up joining the Bellas.

The Bellas are known for being the most beautiful girls on campus. However, after a particularly horrendous projectile vomiting incident during Nationals the previous year, no one really wants to be a member. Chloe and the Bellas’ leader Aubrey (Anna Camp) lower their beauty standards and decide they’ll just take the eight best people who fit their needs. That opens them up to the ragtag group of individuals who make it as Bellas. There’s Fat Amy (the hilarious Rebel Wilson), who is a bigger girl that refers to herself as “fat” so that “twig bitches” can’t do it behind her back. Stacie (Alexis Knapp), who is a tad bit promiscuous and refers to her vagina as a “hunter.” Cynthia Rose (Ester Dean), a sassy Black lesbian. The true standout, though, is Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) whose voice is so quiet that a whisper would be too loud of a description. The few lines that she does have, though, make some of the funniest parts of the film.

Of course, no movie like this would be complete without some sort of romance. The leading man in this film is Jesse (Skylar Astin), a Treble Maker who has a huge crush on Beca. They work together at the radio station and he is determined to win her over. Jesse is ridiculously charming and pretty much adorable. He comes across as one of the nicest guys ever and a total catch.

The plot is not particularly earth shattering. Pretty much everyone could tell what will happen from the trailers alone. That said, Kendrick is just so damn endearing that her character is hard to dislike. She has great chemistry with Astin, as well as the other Bellas. The music is a lot of fun, but then again, I truly adore a cappella music. The supporting cast is full of fantastic comedic actors, including particularly hysterical roles by John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks as commentators for the competitions. This film is not going to win awards, unless they’re shaped like surfboards or popcorn buckets. However, it’s an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours. If you just want something light and fluffy, this is the film to see.

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