A teen comedy with some attitude in the ilk of Mean Girls and Heathers, Pitch Perfect follows new college student Rebecca (Anna Kendrick) as she attends Barden college and finds herself being pressured by her father (a college dean) to try something new so signs up for the only all-female a capella group on campus, The Barden Bellas. Locked in an eternal battle against The Treble Makers lead by the over-confident Bumper (Adam DeVine), the Bellas set about changing their dated repertoire to make them more competitive and to give them a shot at winning International Championship of Collegiate A Capella.
The cameo from Christopher Mintz-Plasse explains the difference between a high school comedy and a college comedy, whose insightful commentary point out that “if you think this is some opportunity to sing and dance your way through a social issue, or confused sexuality, you’ve come to the wrong place” and while not entirely true, there is more than enough cutting satire and social commentary to explain why Pitch Perfect‘s original title was Pitch Slap. Not content with McLovin, but another highlight is the fight that The Treble Makers have with an alumni group consisting of Jo Lo Truglio, Donald Faison, Har Mar Superstar and Jason Jones.
The cast all through themselves into proceedings with verve and not an ounce of wishing they were elsewhere. Kendrick proves more than able of carrying a film on her own and her ‘alternative girl’ routine once again highlights that had she played Bella in Twilight, it may have been less prone to criticism. The meat of Pitch Perfect’s comedy quota is taken by Rebel Wilson as the self-nicknamed Fat Amy, called so because it prevents ‘stick bitches’ calling her it behind her back. It is this confidence that makes her standout from the pack as a future comedy star.
Pitch Perfect finds itself at its best whenever anyone is singing. Combining earworms from the 1980s and 90s with modern dance tracks prove as catchy as you’d imagine. It’s at its worst when shoving the more angsty elements of College life down the audiences throats, luckily these become increasingly more sparse as the film reaches its climax. Like Easy A a few years before, Pitch Perfect specifically references John Hughes seminal work The Breakfast Club, and the obvious similarities between that film and the late directors work are clear to see. Sadly it doesn’t quite reach the heady heights of his best work, but it must be the age of the directors now finding their place in Hollywood that Hughes’ influence has reached the level its at now.
Combining the balls-to-the-wall whip-smart dialogue, with some fantastic musical mash-ups and staging it all in the sports film genre casing help to make Pitch Perfect one of the most surprisingly funny and catchy comedies of the year. This is a film with a voice and isn’t afraid to use it, with enough sass to make it a bonafide future cult classic. It’s Mean Girls for the Glee generation.