DVD Review - Pitch Perfect
|Skylar Astin (left) and Anna Kendrick|
in "Pitch Perfect"
Instead, Anna Kendrick (Twilight and Up in the Air) and Skylar Astin (Spring Awakening and 21 & Over) are put under the spotlight. Both are adorable. Both can sing. Both are entertaining, but having them be the leads of A Capella groups never made all that much sense to me. There's not much character to the people they play. There's not much story here either. Kendrick plays a girl named Beca and Astin plays a boy named Jesse. They're college students at Barden University who join A Capella groups, and that's about it. They don't much of anything else.
Beca is a DJ and aspiring music producer, so having her sing A Capella made no sense to me. She gets an internship at the campus radio station, but, besides stacking CDs, we hardly see her pursuing her dream or really pushing the guy running the radio station, Luke, played by Freddie Stroma. She gives her dad attitude about wanting to pursue it. Her dad, Dr. Mitchell, played by John Benjamin Hickey, is a professor at Barden who pushes her to go there and study. This bothers her, but then her initial ambition or passion goes away. She goes on her laptop and comes up with mixes, but it takes a back seat to the A Capella thing, which might be related to what she wants to do, but it is still off course. Given the state of the music industry, it's odd that we don't see her going online or trying to put her stuff out there more aggressively.
Screenwriter Kay Cannon adapted this movie from a book by Mickey Rapkin and Cannon draws some funny and interesting moments. Yet, it's all incredibly thin. Starting the movie with toilet humor or humor involving bodily functions and the losing control of those functions was not the way to kick things into motion for me.
Another issue I have with the movie is if a character points out that she doesn't like movies because she thinks the endings are predictable, it's not a good idea to then have that character rush to a very predictable ending. Beca tells Jesse that she doesn't like movies because of their predictable endings, and instead of showing her something like Mulholland Drive (2001) or Memento (2000), Jesse shows her The Breakfast Club (1985). By the end, Beca has an ending that you can see coming miles away.
What redeems this movie is the same thing that redeems Glee. The performances are fun to watch. The comedic performances from the actors are fun and the song performances are equally so. Kendrick is a beauty. Astin is charming. Anna Camp who plays Aubrey and Brittany Snow who plays Chloe are not only sexy but also very hilarious. Rebel Wilson who plays Fat Amy is an absolute scene stealer. Ben Platt who plays Benji is just a cute oddball, and their renditions of "Since You're Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson and "No Diggity" by Blackstreet just sucked me in.
Three Stars out of Five.
Rated PG-13 for sexual material, language and drug references.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 51 mins.