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If you blend television’s Glee , filmdom’s Duets , and toss in a side order or Bridesmaids you find the framework for Universal Pictures’ hilarious and snappy musical comedy, Pitch Perfect . This hilarious homage to the world musical competitions takes a definitely PG-13 route in thoroughly entertaining the target audience.
(Image by: Universal Studios)
Anna Kendrick first caught our attention in the 2008 film adaption of Twilight, and literally rose to prominence in the 2009 George Clooney vehicle, Up in the Air . The latter earned Kendrick both a Golden Globe and an Academy Awards nomination. Her newest film Pitch Perfect gives us more than a glimpse of this young actress’s talents, as we discover her musical talents. As Beca, an ambitious would-be music producer/dj, Kendrick enters the alien world of college. She finds herself hemmed in at the fictitious Barden University by the expectations of her father (faulty member) and the pecking order found within the Barden Belles, one of the school’s a cappella groups.
The Barden Belles, have played it safe for years, following the safe songlists and choreography of Aubrey, remembered as Anna Camp of The Help. This safe “we’ve always done it this way” path has led the Belles to some success, but has left them annually trailing the Barden University’s all-male team, the Treblemakers. The rivalry and interplay between the two groups provide much of the comedy, and some of the finest singing ever seen onscreen in recent years.
The well-cast ensemble featured Britney Snow ( Hairspray ), Rebel Wilson ( Bridesmaids ), Christopher Charles Mintz-Plasse ( Superbad ), Freddie Stroma ( Harry Potter series), as well as veteran actors Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins. Adam DeVine (Comedy Central’s Workaholics )plays Bumper, the arrogant leader of the rival TrebleMakers who seems to bring the comedy up several octaves with each appearance.
Based on GQ senor editor Mickey Rapkin's non-fiction novel, Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory , this film personifiles the book. Though Rapkin’s book followed the real struggles, rivalries, and paybacks that one would more expect from professional or collegiate sports, the storyline revealed for film viewers an unexpected musical battlefield.
You can expect some Bridesmaids moments from the non-PC performances, Among the most memorable were a harmonic shower scene, a comedic burrito attack, and a riff-off battle of harmonies held in a drained school pool. The riff-off brought to mind images of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” music video, as well as the dance battles from the Step-up movies. The film was well-paced and balanced, bringing comedy, music, and romance into perfect harmony.
Due for release October 5th, this early screening had some technical rough edges. But the screening audience thoroughly enjoyed the film and often howled at the brash humor. Even the credits kept the crowd laughing and captivated by this hilarious Universal Studios and Gold Circle film.
Pitch Perfect was directed by Jason Moore (Broadway’s Avenue Q) and is rated PG-13 for sexual material, drug references, and language. More information is available at the film’s website: http://www.pitchperfectmovie.com.