A glossy, super lightweight comedy on collegiate a capella tournaments is saved by a few stunning moments.
Pitch Perfect has been blue-skyed to an almost sub-atomic level in order to meet the entertainment demands of both the Glee and Bridesmaids set. Concerning the purportedly cut-throat business of competitive collegiate a capella vocal groups, Jason Moore’s Auto-Tuned musical comedy is set in a world where everyone has instant recall to the lyrics of Bruno Mars songs (i.e. a contemporary dystopia). But it contains two moments of note.
The first involves one character hilariously upturning the twee connotations associated with the snow angel, a cinematic device that has become a go-to for cheap wind-chime pathos. The second is possibly the most magical 60 seconds of film you’re likely to see in the cinema this year; a short, out-of-nowhere aside that’s as gloriously simple and profoundly moving Jeanne Moreau fingerpicking her way though 'Le Tourbillon' in François Truffaut’s Jules Et Jim.
Following a standard issue montage in which a gallery of twerpy musical wannabes wail along to Kelly Clarkson’s 'Since U Been Gone', the film’s star, Anna Kendrick, insouciantly shuffles onto the stage. She pours the stationery from a plastic cup, perches cross-legged on a stage and – in a single take – sings a little ditty while using the cup as a percussion instrument. Yes, we know, it hardly sounds like cascades of stardust, but it’s a scene that’s so surprising and impressive that it easily overshadows everything else the film has to offer.
All of the other rousing, close-harmony work-outs that feature in Pitch Perfect sound like they’ve been pre-filtered through numerous audio processing programmes, though we’re seeing actors singing, the sound coming from their mouths is entirely synthetic.
The same rule applies to the script. Kendrick’s character is otherwise a tediously haughty alt-type, required to roll her eyes at least twice per minute, while the remainder of the funnies are split between Rebel Wilson’s Fat Amy (no, that’s the joke) and Hana Mae Lee’s Lilly, a barely audible Japanese psycho pixie who gets to whisper all of the fi lm’s sharpest lines.
Let’s hope that gag-packed trailer didn’t spoil the entire film!
Slipshod comedy extravaganza that passes the time, but the aforementioned Anna Kendrick scene is worth a 5.
Oh, the gag-packed trailer spoiled the entire film.