Saturday, September 29, 2012
When I saw a tweet from actress Elizabeth Banks asking for extras in her film Pitch Perfect last November, I offhandedly mentioned it to a friend of mine who lives in Baton Rouge. My friend jumped at the chance to be an extra, which resulted in this post. It should come as no surprise, then, that I was very eager to see Pitch Perfect more than a month before it was in theaters. Although I didn't see my friend in the movie, the film was definitely worth seeing, and is a mix of "Glee meets Mean Girls meets Bridesmaids," as someone tweeted.
Beca (Anna Kendrick, 50/50) arrives at Barden University as a freshman but doesn't want to be there - she would rather be in L.A. pursuing her dream to be a DJ. Her dad is a professor at Barden so he expects her to take advantage of a free college education there. Her roommate Kimmy Jin (Jinhee Joung) doesn't really like her, yet she accompanies her to the Activities Fair anyways to see what's being offered on campus. The Barden Bellas, an a capella group headed up by Chloe (Brittany Snow, Hairspray) and Aubrey (Anna Camp, The Help), are desperately recruiting singers due to an unfortunate mishap at the A Capella Finals last year, and they ask Beca if she can sing. She blows them off, but later Chloe corners her while Beca is singing in the shower, and asks her to try out for auditions.
Beca of course makes the Barden Bellas, who claim they have significantly "lowered" their image, so to speak, and what follows is her journey in a capella, where she meets Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson, Bridesmaids) and the adorable Jesse (Skylar Austin, Taking Woodstock), who is a member of The Treblemakers, an all-male a capella group at Barden that always wins in competition. Aubrey has made all of the Bellas take an oath to not get involved with any Treblemakers, and Beca starts to find this harder to observe as she gets cloesr to Jesse, who she also works with at the campus radio station.
Rebel Wilson steals the show in this film, but that's not surprising because she's awesome in pretty much every movie she's in (including the recent hit Bridesmaids). Anna Kendrick can sing very, very well, and she will wow you with her talents, especially since she's never been in any other singing/dancing films recently. The film was also spot-on when it came to "college life": when I was a student at U of M, there was "Festifall" each year where a capella groups and others would recruit new members, and the "Activity Fair" that Beca goes to reminded me of that.
Yes, see this film, though I will caution you that for some reason there are excessive amounts of vomiting. The film is definitely not perfect: I didn't feel like Beca's father was really needed, since his small role in the movie is mostly to nag her. The chemistry between Beca and Jesse was great, and Skylar Austin is now on my "watch list" for young actors. Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Kick-Ass) also has a few cameo scenes in this film as well. Brittney Snow is best known for Hairspray and John Tucker Must Die, which I really liked, but hasn't been seen much since then, and she proves here that she's definitely still a great actress; her scenes with Anna Camp occurred often, since they are the leaders (and seniors) in the Bellas. If you like singing or watching singing groups even a little bit, you will love Pitch Perfect, and the film proves itself to be highly entertaining.
Pitch Perfect is currently playing in theaters, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 100 minutes. 4 stars out of 5.
*Author's Note: We were told that this was NOT the finished print of the film; some images and sound were not completely finished yet.