Movie Review: Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect is basically a movie version of Glee set in college:

  • Songs: About on par. Glee has arrangements that are both better and worse than Pitch Perfect’s.
  • Characters: Beca (Pitch Perfect) > Rachel (Glee), but otherwise not particularly memorable.
  • Story: Not Glee, but still typical “girl goes to college”; the a cappella is just dressing for it. (Same genre as Mean Girls, which I have finally now seen.)

In many ways Pitch Perfect could have gone further, but didn’t. The a cappella group (the Barden Bellas) didn’t seem particularly close—I didn’t get the feeling that these women were spending all their time together, whether or not they exactly liked each other.1 The “romance” was underdone to the point where there was weird rivalry between Beca’s “suitors” before she was really interested in either of them. The characters were not really fleshed out in any way. And the music was…not as inspiring as it could have been. Several times over the past few years I’ve experienced some good a cappella or choral performances and really missed singing; this didn’t do that for me.

Honestly, Beca’s mashups were the best part of the movie. That, at least, is really what it’s like, although her setup was much cooler than mine. The movie did also show a glimpse of what it’s like to blend, harmonize, and sing with other people, which is an amazing feeling.

Given that I’m only just seeing this now, it’s likely that everyone who had an interest in Pitch Perfect will have seen it already. But it’s not really funny enough to recommend as a comedy, not nostalgic enough to be the best “college” film. And if you’re into collegiate-style a cappella, you should probably just watch old seasons of The Sing-Off instead, which is what we did after the movie. Or go to a live show!

sorry, a cappella friends

  1. I haven’t been in a collegiate a cappella group like Pitch Perfect’s, but I did know people who were. And I was in a theater group, and that group (and the per-show troupes) felt closer than the Bellas. ↩︎

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