Blame years of Bollywood conditioning if you must–I certainly do–but I do love a good song and dance in a movie. By good I mean, something that makes me go, “This is fun.” Pitch Perfect has that quality. Which makes it a new addition to my guilty pleasure movie list.
The movie is based on a book: Pitch Perfect – The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory by Mickey Rapkin but I wouldn’t blame people for thinking this was a ‘same-same, but different’ version of the American TV show Glee. One way in which I found the movie different from the TV show? The characters are way less annoying.
The narrative follows the traditional reluctant hero arc with Anna Kendrick (Up In The Air) playing Beca, a wannabe DJ who is forced to go to college–instead of pursuing her dreams of struggle in LA–by a father who also teaches at the same institution.
On campus she waves off an early recruitment attempt by Aubrey (Anna Camp) and Chloe (Brittany Snow) into The Bellas an all-girl a cappella group that is having trouble filling its quota after Aubrey had an ‘accident’ onstage (during the previous year’s finals) that went viral online.
Aubrey’s not so sure about Beca’s appeal any way but Chloe refuses to take no for an answer after she hears Beca singing in the shower. What follows is the reconfiguration of the formerly demure-sexy Bellas into a ragtag group of misfits of varying shapes, sizes and ethnicity.
Like the average romcom the setup is not really important here. Unlike the average romcom neither is the chemistry between the lead couple–Beca and Jesse (Skylar Astin). What made Pitch Perfect so enjoyable for me was the music. The Riff-Off (that’s just Antakshari with a sporty name by-the-way), the funky arrangements, the mash-ups – I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff. And hey, The Breakfast Club (of which I am also a big fan) is referenced at one point!
The cast was competent and though the big finale was a minor letdown–when the main antagonist just ups and leaves before the National Finals, it kinda takes the air out of the whole rivalry doesn’t it?–but I was smiling more often than I was frowning while watching Pitch Perfect.