Film Review: ‘Pitch Perfect’ Succeeds By Making Fun of Itself

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CHICAGO – When we last saw Anna Kendrick, she was the mid-twentysomething girlfriend of cop Jake Gyllenhaal in “End of Watch.” This week, she reverts back to freshman year in college, portraying a rebellious D.J. and songstress in the not-taking-themselves-seriously “Pitch Perfect.” Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

This is harmless fluff reflecting the “American Idol”-ization of the culture, where even the most off-key citizens can find redemption through singing. The strange path to all this is competitive a-cappella teams (no instruments, all vocal) from various colleges, which apparently has swept the nation like goldfish swallowing. From the opening note to the final coda, plucky co-ed gals harmonize and choreograph themselves into our hearts. Who needs Psych 101 when you have four part choral sisters and Bruno Mars riffs?

The film opens with “the year before” as The Bellas, a Barden University a-cappella team, are about to take the stage against their archrivals, the all-male Treblemakers. After a drastic stage breakdown, The Bellas are reduced again to also-rans, leaving only Chloe (Britanny Snow) and Aubrey (Anna Camp) to form yet another version of the singing sisters as the school year starts anew.

Enter Beca (Anna Kendrick), a sparkly-faced Freshman who has a rebellious streak, indicated by her solid mash-track work as a D.J. Somehow she is convinced to join The Bellas, along with campus rejects Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson, the British roommate in “Bridemaids”), low talker Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) and carnally fortified Stacie (Alexis Knapp), among others. There is just one problem – Chloe wants The Bellas run her way, which includes no dating the rival Treblemakers, leaving out Jesse (Skylar Astin), who has a serious crush on Beca. What happens next, we wonder to ourselves.

“Pitch Perfect” has a limited release on September 28th – including Chicago – and opens everywhere October 5th. See local listings for theaters and showtimes. Featuring Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgins and Rebel Wilson. Screenplay by Kay Cannon. Directed by Jason Moore. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Pitch Perfect”

PItch Perfect
The Bellas Bring the Noise in ‘Pitch Perfect’
Photo credit: Universal Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Pitch Perfect”

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