Reviewed by: Russell Emory
acoustic singing group
music in the Bible
|Featuring:||Anna Kendrick … Beca
Elizabeth Banks … Gail
Christopher Mintz-Plasse … Tommy
Skylar Astin … Jesse
Ben Platt … Benji
Brittany Snow … Chloe
Anna Camp … Aubrey
Rebel Wilson … Fat Amy
Alexis Knapp … Stacie
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Gold Circle Films
Elizabeth Banks … producer
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Ever since the surprise success of the Fox TV show “Glee” audiences have been exposed to the world of choirs, high school show choirs, and the world of a capella. The film “Pitch Perfect” deals with the latter of the three.
“Pitch Perfect” stars Anna Kendrick as Beca, an incoming freshman at Barden College who is forced to go to college by her father who just happens to be a professor there. Beca aspires to be a DJ and producer in Los Angeles, but is forced to go to college. While avoiding a conversation with her father, Beca takes to the quad to check out the clubs on campus. Here is where she meets Chloe (Brittany Snow) and Aubrey (Anna Camp), the two senior members and captains of the Barden Bellas, the female a capella group.
The Bellas are looking for a second chance to win a national a capella championship after their debacle the year before in which Aubrey nervously vomits on stage. The Bellas are plagued by rival group and national champions the Treble Makers, who are an all male group. The second big difference between the groups, besides the gender of the members, is the Trebles, as they are referred to, never do the same song twice. While the Bellas do the same three songs year after year.
Beca gets a job at the campus radio station where she meets fellow freshman and Treble Jesse. Jesse and Beca begin a friendship that is close to romantic, but, as the audience finds out, Beca pushes others away like her father, Jesse, and the Bellas. Beca eventually joins the Bellas after an awkward scene between Chloe and Beca in the dorm showers where Beca sings for Chloe and begrudgingly agrees to audition for the Bellas to appease her. Beca eventually joins the Bellas which leads to tension because Beca wants to change things up, while Aubrey wants to keep things the same.
Obscene or suggestive gestures are littered throughout the movie. In the shower audition scene, Chloe is in there with a man but the extent of what the audience sees is the feet of the individuals. The scene in the showers could be particularly offensive to many, but the extent of the exposure of the characters is implied. Beca is seen behind frosted glass but nothing is shown. As for the scene with Chloe, both Beca and Chloe are only shown from the shoulders up. There is also a scene where all but one of the Trebles are in a hot tub together. They are a ten member group.
The movie attempts to toe the line with decency. The movie is by no means obscene like many comedies this year like “The Watch” or “The Campaign.” Some of the humor is completely unusual and borders on the absurd. One character called Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) is constantly making wild statements. One of my personal favorites is when she says she wrestled a croc and a dingo at the same time. She is also from Tasmania, which is unusual.
As for language the s-word is used at least half a dozen times. One character uses the letter F to imply swearing. Many of the profanities (a__, d__n, h__l, b___h) used on broadcast prime time TV are littered through the film. The Lord’s name is used as a profanity once or twice, but again the vulgarity of the movie is in the innuendos and what is implied. There is also a scene of drinking in the movie, and characters talk about drug use, but like the sex in the movie it is never seen.
I did not find the humor extremely offensive, I know there are many out there who would, but I did not. I thought the characters were well developed, and the movie was well paced. The arrangements of the songs the groups performed were very entertaining. The performances outside of the competitions also made sense, unlike in “High School Musical” or “Glee” where characters randomly break out in highly choreographed production numbers while walking down the hall.
“Pitch Perfect” could take itself overly serious and be a poster film for how cool a capella choirs are, but it doesn’t do that. “Pitch Perfect” embraces a capella with all of its warts and blemishes, and brings it to the world as is. Overall, I recommend this movie, but if you are easily offended, then please stay away. I have described the content of the film; it is up to you to see the film or not.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.