It’s been a while since I’ve done a movie review. Partly because I just don’t have time and money to see movies every week – the money situation could be solved if anyone cares to donate to the Leia’s Movie Reviews Fund.
But there also hasn’t been much I’ve been interested in seeing lately. That is, until I saw the preview for Perfect Pitch. This is another musical. I’m guessing the popularity of Glee has spurred producers to look for musical type movies. All the theater geeks are rejoicing in theatrical ways I’m sure. Dressing up, having sing-offs, and other stereotypical activities I can’t think of right now.
Pitch Perfect. Here’s where a clever reviewer would come up with some pun having to do with the title of the movie and the critique. But I’m not clever. I’m lazy. So you get this. Pitch Perfect is funny.
The movie follows Beca (played by Anna Kendrick) – a broody college freshman dubbed “alternative” because of her black nail polish and normal clothes. I’m confused. Do most college students wear skirt suits and high heels? Apparently in this part of the country (one of the Carolinas), having a few earrings and wearing skinny jeans makes you bad ass. Anyway, Beca is into DJ-ing and remixing songs from the nineties and generally being sullen. But Beca is also unique and funny and already the audience likes her.
Now this is sort of a musical – we know this by the acapella competition that opens the movie. But it’s not like a break-into-a-ballad-to-express-my-feelings kind of musical. It’s a movie with some musical numbers during appropriate times – like competitions and car rides and showers. To my husband’s delight, no spontaneous dancing.
So in this random Carolina college, there are two groups fighting for the glory and honor of being called the best “organized nerd singing” group. The Treble Tones – a bunch of odd-looking guys who act like frat boys but without the swagger to back it up. They’re like the rock stars of the nerd world. And the super perky Bellas, who look like flight attendant school and Bible study group had a baby then took uppers.
Aubrey (played by the same actress that played Reverand Steve’s wife in True Blood, season 2) is a sparkly blonde chick who’s about to become the leader of the Bellas after the performance in the opening number. This is her big moment to shine. And her solo is that obnoxious song by Ace of Base, I Saw the Sign, that was so overplayed when I was in high school I could just puke. Ironically, that’s exactly what Aubrey did. She puked. In the middle of the performance. All over the audience.
Three months later, it’s the next school year and nobody wants to join the Barfing Bellas. Little Miss Perfect Sunshine is out to recruit eight new singers for the group. They want Beca to join but she’s too angsty for such an upbeat hobby. Being a joiner isn’t cool. Neither is overachieving. Or any kind of achieving for that matter. But the leader’s assistant, Chloe (played by Brittany Snow), convinces Beca by extreme…um…enthusiasm, to try out for the group. Basically she pins her naked to the shower wall and forces her to sing.
To make a long review a little less long and a lot less boring (hopefully), Aubrey manages to assemble a rag tag bunch of freaks and geeks. One specific girl, brought in for comic relief, Fat Amy (played by Rebel Wilson from Bridemaids – best movie ever!), stole the spotlight. Maybe you’ve seen her in the commercials? She adds a great dimension to the film with her fun accent and enter brilliant movie critic term here. Point is, she’s funny. And not just in the parts they put in the movie trailers either.
So despite the rigid rehearsal schedule set by Dictator Sunshine Face, the group sucks. They lack cohesion and teamwork and songs that don’t make me want to remove my own eardrums. But with hard work and practice, a dash of school spirit, and a lot of heart…they still suck. Seriously. Right up until the very end.
Oh, and we can’t forget the love interest – adorable, boy-next-door type, Jesse. Of course, he’s accepted into the Bella’s rivals, the Treble Tones. Jesse is a sweetheart with the voice of a…rockstar nerd and a love for movie scores. He and Beca have an angsty love because, well, Beca is like a less hot, more wimpy, less sparkly, more humany version of Edward Cullen. Funny cause the actress that plays Beca also played Jessica in the Twilight Saga. Wow. That just clicked in my head. Brilliant, Leia. Brilliant.
Best part of the movie. The commentary at the competitions by two acapella alumni. One played by Elizabeth Banks says, “Nothing makes a woman hotter than a man who sings like a boy.” Or something to that effect. Don’t quote me on that. I’m doing this from memory. And her counterpart, John Michael Higgins says, “Women are as good at acapella as they are at being doctors.”
And that brings me to my last point. Wait. There was a first and second point, right? Just go with it. It’s late and I’m on book deadline. Last point, the movie is hilarious. The songs and acapella performances are fun. The characters are somewhat cliché but still funny. And overall I’d say Pitch Perfect is…ready for it? Is…a bit “pitchy” but almost “perfect.” What do you think of that pun, huh? Did you like it?
Final wrap-up. I won’t say this is the best movie of the year, and there’s some stiff competition when it comes to musicals – Rock of Ages was pretty amazing – but it was a fun night out and I highly recommend it. If you could only see one music movie this year…like, you really really could only choose one…hmmm. Well, I guess if someone held me at gun point and said, “Tell me which movie is better, bitch! I’m gonna pay twelve dollars for this shit!” Then I would say, “Rock of Ages. Nothing beats Tom Cruise’s nipples. Will you please let me go now, crazy person?”
But hopefully you have it in your heart, and wallet, to see both.