Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Review 120: "Pitch Perfect"

I swear if I hear one more
"Aca" joke...



Aca-Story

      Released all the way back in 2012, Pitch Perfect is directed by Jason Moore (Dawson's Creek) and was written by Kay Cannon (30 Rock) based on a book by Mickey Rapkin (Pitch Perfect). This film has the distinction in my eyes for being one of the most under-advertised films of 2012. With this job, I knew almost all of the 2012 releases and have already remembered most of the 2013 releases. I had no clue what Pitch Perfect was until about two weeks before it was released. The film follows Beca (Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air), who's new in college and joins an infamously lame acapella group the Barden Bellas. She soon becomes friends with Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson, Bridesmaids) and Chloe (Brittany Snow, John Tucker Must Die) and starts to clash heads with the group leader Aubrey (Anna Camp, The Help). Adding to the problems are the rival group The Treblemakers, lead by obnoxious Bumper (Adam DeVine, Workaholics) and including the nerdy Benji (Ben Platt, Pitch Perfect) and Beca's love interest Jesse (Skylar Astin, Hamlet 2).

You know she's cool because she wears
headphones!
 Aca-Funny

      Pitch Perfect is probably one of the biggest surprises of 2012. Nothing about the film, the premise, the music, the trailers, seemed not to be that funny. However, the film oddly works. The writers don't try anything all that crazy. For the most part, the film plays it's premise relatively straightforward. And it works. The film is often very funny and is never dull. This is also due to the cast and characters being well done. Well, the main cast anyway. Kendrick again proves that she really can do no wrong, playing a character that could have easily fallen into the "Brooding Outsider" category, but instead making her likable and relatable. Camp and Platt are great as the two rival coaches who both aren't really all that interesting but very funny. And as you have heard, Wilson steals the show as the absolutely hilarious Fat Amy. However, the humor is often hit or miss. The film does feature scene with a gross-out vomit gag toward the end that not only is horribly disgusting and unfunny, also completely clashes with the otherwise down-to-earth tone of the rest of the film.

Aca-Pacing

      The film's pacing also has some issues. The film is nearly 2 hours long and could have easily been about a hour and a half. The film's biggest conflict comes from the fact Aubrey doesn't want to change anything about their performances while the rest of the group change things up every time. The writers effectively make this story work at first, by making the Bella's early performances a complete bore while the other groups are all great. However, the film uses this storyline for way to long. It gets resolved about 20 minutes later than it should have been and often when the subject came up I wanted the scene to get over as quickly as possible. Mostly so I could get to another one of the film's excellent musical numbers. The film makes so truly entertaining and fun songs for the characters to mash-up. There isn't really a bad number and it helps make the film lighthearted fun that's almost always enjoyable. Almost.

Nobody's perfect.
Aca-Verdict

      Pitch Perfect is an often very funny, very smart movie with a great cast and good characters. I was never bored with this film, mostly due to it's sharp and super fun musical numbers. There are however, some jokes that fail miserably, storylines that just end (or refuse to end) and some major flaws in the film's pacing. Overall, Pitch Perfect is more Pitch Pretty-Good. Pitch Perfect gets 5 stars out of 6. 

No comments:

Post a Comment