Pitch Perfect (2012) is quite a surprise! Directed by Jason Moore (Go ‘Cats!), this musical comedy is a fun mix of quirky humor, exciting musical performances, and engaging characters — all without taking a cappella too seriously. It acts as an anti-Glee: exhibiting creative and interesting musical situations while using substantive characters as role models instead of vapid caricatures of vanity.
The film focuses on Beca Mitchell (Anna Kendrick), an aspiring Dj and musician who reluctantly starts college Barden University. She finally strikes a deal with her father, who is pushing her to finish college (for free, he might add), to wholeheartedly experience one year of college. If after a year she still truly wants to move to LA and pursue her dream of DJ-ing, he will support her. She spends the year interning at the college radio station with love interest and a cappella group rival Jesse (Skylar Astin) and singing with the all-girls a cappella group, the Barden Bellas.
After a splattering embarrassment at a national competition, the Barden Bellas try to recruit new members, but they’re having trouble with such a stain on their reputation. They end up recruiting a wide variety of girls who don’t exactly fit the Barden Bellas’ traditional look. The group has to learn to get along and grow with each other, particularly leader Aubrey (Anna Camp) who has to learn to let go of the reigns.
The film is delightfully funny, particularly because of Rebel Wilson, Fat Amy. She’s the star of the film, delivering incredibly funny and sometimes awkward lines in her dull and stoic voice. Not only is she the comic heroine of the movie but she also has a stunning voice and stage presence. Fat Amy is a testament to that old saying: Don’t judge a book by its cover — which contributes to why this movie is so spirited. The a cappella group has many different colors, and sizes, and the film doesn’t shy away from those unconventional faces. The movie embraces Fat Amy and it’s better for it.
Pitch Perfect defies expectations and stereotypes and delivers fresh comedy. The film continues the legacy of such works like Sister Act, bringing together an eclectic mix of people and creating something quite special.