Everyone sees trailers on TV or right before a movie they can’t wait to see that make them either audibly groan or even for a split second make them less excited for what they are about to watch- if I’m overstepping by saying everyone then I take it all back. Regardless, PITCH PERFECT was one of those trailers for me even though I really like Anna Kendrick, but that #getpitchslapped (or something to that effect) hash tag promotion made me want to barf. So naturally I skipped seeing the film for as long as I could- until the inevitable moment came that my significant other chose it for a lazy night in. Now is the time that I have to say that I’m almost a little disappointed in myself for not giving PITCH PERFECT a little more attention and experiencing it with a much larger audience.
Kendrick stars in the film as a college coed that begrudgingly joins an A Cappella group that is in the hunt for a national championship. I know, I know- there couldn’t be a more clichéd set up for a film that is essentially BRING IT ON except with A Cappella singing as opposed to cheerleaders- some might argue there is no difference. Honestly though, I think this is a film I could picture myself watching way more than the cheerleader counterpart, not just in terms of quality, but also based almost entirely on the fantastic cast lead by Kendrick.
The film’s focus is almost entirely on the female group of singers although their competition throughout is a male group from the same school and of course one of them happens to be a love interest throughout. The female characters are all very strong and more often than not, they are incredibly and surprisingly funny. I don’t mean surprising in the sense that I’m stunned women can be funny, but instead what I mean is that I was expecting this to be ridiculously tame and embarrassingly unfunny.
As surprised as I was by the film, I can’t say that this was the film that redefines cinema for me or anyone for that matter. The film is still full of clichés and a lot of been there done that moments, both with the competition aspect and the twists and turns that come along with it, but also in the “romance on the ropes” aspect where potential romances shift from their budding potential, to love on the rocks and of course the eventual breakthrough when one person stages an almost too perfect show to win the other back. The material here isn’t all that original, but it is fresh in a modern sense of the word or at least in a world where Glee makes people roll their eyes on a regular basis.
Originally I felt a little ashamed to say that I liked PITCH PERFECT as much as I did, but then again I might have felt just as ashamed to try and assert my machismo in a supremely misguided fashion by denying myself the fun the film puts forward. I’m not naive enough to say that there aren’t girls and guys alike that won’t like this film, but I am saying that one of the only reasons will be because of the aspects of the film that mirror others before it. PITCH PERFECT might mimic many things that came before it, but it does it in a way that’s funny enough and fun enough that eventually the seams that were blatant at the beginning slowly blended into the background.
Written By: Luke (@CrummyLuke on Twitter)