Pitch Perfect—movie review

by Leonard Maltin
September 28, 2012 12:45 AM
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'Pitch Perfect's' Hana Mae Lee, Rebel Wilson, Ester Dean, Anna Kendrick and Alexis Knapp. Photo by Peter Iovino - © 2012 Universal Studios
It may not break any new ground, but Pitch Perfect provides lively entertainment in the hitherto unexplored world of collegiate a cappella choirs. Built on a template that’s familiar to anyone who’s seen such movies as Bring It On, this comedy uses an engaging cast and a parade of popular songs (energetically recreated by several choral groups) to create a buoyant crowd-pleaser.

Anna Kendrick is a model 2012 screen heroine: smart, unsentimental, defined as an outsider but not so off-putting as to lose our rooting interest. A college freshman, she dreams of being a deejay but is persuaded to try out for her school’s only female a cappella group, the Barden Bellas—who are still recovering from a huge embarrassment at last year’s finals at Lincoln Center in New York. (Borrowing a page from Best in Show, the film is punctuated by running remarks from a pair of television commentators, played by John Michael Higgins and one of this movie’s producers, Elizabeth Banks.)

John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Banks Photo by Peter Iovino - © 2012 Universal Studios
The Bellas are run with an iron hand by Anna Camp, who refuses to deviate from their standard playbook; her closest ally, Brittany Snow, isn’t one to rock the boat, even as they are forced to recruit a brand new roster of singers (including the very funny Rebel Wilson). But Kendrick is the real rebel who tries to bring a fresh sensibility to the group’s stale repertoire.

Directed by Jason Moore, who staged Avenue Q on Broadway, and written by Kay Cannon (whose TV credits include 30 Rock and New Girl), Pitch Perfect is sharp, amusing, well-cast, and fun to watch, even as it covers formulaic territory. 

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  • Bob | January 23, 2013 2:36 PMReply

    ohhhh SNAP!!!

  • Joe | January 23, 2013 2:34 PMReply

    I liked this movie it was very funny.

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