Thursday, October 04, 2012

REVIEW: Pitch Perfect

They say that the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Not me. The way to this man's heart is through his ears. If a talented actress can also sing, any crush I already have only intensifies. I already had a crush on Anna Kendrick. Turns out she sings quite well. Ergo, Pitch Perfect was fun for my ears.

Yet, returning to some semblance of level-headedness that I abandoned in my lead paragraph, I must confess that Kendrick and the other actresses aside, Pitch Perfect isn't as fun as it could have been.

The movie, directed by Jason Moore of Avenue Q fame, has some of the same scrappy, perverse charm that stage musical did. It just doesn't have quite enough of it. What might have been Glee with teeth is more akin to Revenge of the Nerds with acapella and projectile vomit.

You heard me. Projectile vomit. This movie not only has several puking scenes, but the plot hinges around a bitchy leader of an acapella group (Anna Camp). She so dramatically loses her lunch, even Linda Blair would flinch. On top of that, most of the men in this movie are about as thrilling as a bottle of Kaopectate.

The gross-out jokes and for that matter, the dullard males are quite unnecessary because the girls truly carry this show - and their vocals and comic chops had me smiling broadly. As she did in Up in the Air, Kendrick plays an outwardly aloof girl who eventually softens and becomes more charming than she thought possible. This time out, though, she has a sassier side who sings a sharp version of "Cups" by Lulu and the Lampshades.

Rebel Wilson (Bridesmiads) has been touted as the movie's scene stealer, and indeed she robs them left and right. But I also liked the comic spark of Brittany Snow (Hairspray) playing Chloe, the perky singer who finds a heretofore undiscovered low register. Then there's the terminally undervalued Elizabeth Banks, one of the movie's producers, playing a singing competition commentator alongside John Michael Higgins. Clearly, these two made their lines up as they went along, and they seem to have more fun than anyone.

I wish I liked Pitch Perfect more than I did, but the movie sings more often than it croaks. Now excuse me while I download Anna's songs from the soundtrack.




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