Beca, a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school’s all-girls singing group. Injecting some much needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition.
With the current state of Glee [a capella music], Workaholics [actors Adam DeVine and Rebel Wilson], and Bridesmaids [Rebel Wilson again and a primarily female cast comedy], Pitch Perfect has a lot of faces and subject matter that people are into these days, and RottenTomato scores and my friends’ praise all led me to believe this would be a entertaining and funny film.
Anna Kendrick plays Beca, an aspiring music producer and talented mixer/DJ, is a freshman at college, but more-so because her father wants her to be there. She would rather be in LA trying to make a career out of her hobby. When her father promises to allow her to do so if she really gets into the college atmosphere and join a club, she finds a place in the school’s female a capella group The Bellas.
With a little bit of Bring it On style, the movie is about the groups reserved and old fashioned style that hasn’t lead to much success, and this year the group features some more diverse and unique members than their norm. Brittany Snow plays Chloe, the stern, set-in-her-ways leader of the group who doesn’t think the group should stray from the norm despite Beca’s good ideas.
Now, being a comedy, the movie features some pretty good laughs, much of them supplied by Wilson, who provides a lot of improvised work, and DeVine, who plays a character much like his Workaholics one. But in between these laughs is nothing of value; just flat characters, an even flatter story, and missed jokes. The only hint of a real character is Beca’s at the start of the film, but then she makes several baseless 180 degree turns in character when she has a thing with Skylar Astin‘s character and then when she doesn’t.
I didn’t think a film that started with a lot of focus on DJ’ing, which I actually have a really strong desire to flirt with, could lose all sense of direction and interest so quickly. The film is director Jason Moore‘s first feature film directing, and he struggles to establish much of any depth or entertainment throughout, and this is also the screenplay writer [Kay Cannon]’s first feature film work after writing for 30 Rock for several years.
The performances have no merit and are littered with holes, like how one person has a microphone yet all volume levels are the same, and how no one is every shown providing the percussion sounds. The only time a real performance is given is when the alumni group [Donald Faison, Jason Jones, Joe Lo Truglio] does a short song after the regionals performance. All of the others are unrealistic studio productions. John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks fortunately provide some laughs as the performance commentators.
1/4 – Despite many attractive features looking at this film from the outside, the inside proves to be a flat, boring, and unfunny.