Seconds into Pitch Perfect and this feels like you’re trying to be filled with Glee, which to some is a fate worse than death. The sight of mediocre dance choreography and well dressed youths singing their little hearts out will split folks down the middle, but rest assured this divide lasts for a few seconds the moment Anna Camp’s Aubrey steps forward for a solo only to blow chunks all over the stage and colouring the audience carrot. Glee, this most certainly is not.
Pitch Perfect introduces us to Beca played by the charming Anna Kendrick who is becoming a welcome talent after the likes of Scott Pilgrim¸50/50 and End Of Watch. The typical anti-social, college fresher who has emotional baggage from her parents’ divorce and drowns it all out by sticking on her whopping headphones and working on her music. Of course that just doesn’t last because at college you’ve got to socialise and as a result Beca finds herself picked up by one of the campuses much loved acapella groups, The Bellas. A bumpy start to begin with as she unites with the group, it’s soon clear that Beca not only has a brilliant voice but a few good ideas to turn her band of ‘aca-bitches’ into regional champions. This isn’t without its problems though; as Beca faces boy trouble, struggle to reform and reluctance to watch The Breakfast Club. Kids, eh?
If you think you’ve heard all this before, you’d be right. Pitch Perfect is at times stupidly cliché, hitting the same notes as Glee as well as everything from Bring It On and Sister Act 2 along the way. The one thing that separates it from those however, is the wit and snappy dialogue that at times, sparks between Beca and her ‘aca-bitches’ giving it strong echoes of Mean Girls more than anything. The latter comparison is all thanks to writer Kay Cannon, whose feisty and funny script allows her band of musical misfits to be more than just new faces in familiar characters, almost. Even so, as great as it can be with its side-splitting moments and song covers there are times when Pitch Perfect feels more dependent on a duet than a group effort.
For the majority of the film, there are a number of The Bella’s that just seem to stand at the back and chip in to help the laughs and not themselves. As the running time ticks by names fade from memory and instead you’ll be left separating the group simply by their comedic character trait (the gay one, the horny one, the quiet one). The films real stars come in the form of the charming Kendrick who plays cool and thoughtfully quiet in fair amount, and Rebel Wilson’s Fat Amy who owns any joke she’s part of, almost stealing Kendrick’s thunder because of it.