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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 19, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Accent

Review: ‘Pitch Perfect’ stays in tune

“Pitch Perfect” might not have been the perfect movie, but it still hits enough of the right notes. Directed by Jason Moore, the movie joins the ranks of “Bring It On” and “Mean Girls” as a sassy, powerhouse chick flick.

When the introverted and sarcastic Beca (Anna Kendrick) arrives at Barden College, she doesn’t have much interest in being a college student until she is cajoled into joining the all-female a cappella group, The Bellas.

The Bella’s captains, Aubrey (Anna Camp) and Chloe (Brittany Snow), must salvage the club’s reputation after a disastrous performance at their regional competition the previous year. A limited song selection, uncooperative leadership and the highly competitive all-male a cappella group, The Treblemakers, stand in their way of becoming the new champions of the national a cappella competition.

The script is an essential component in the film’s hilarity. Written by “30 Rock” writer Kay Cannon, there are many lines that are destined to be quoted with the same frequency as “Mean Girls.” Most of the comedy comes from the acting prowess of Rebel Wilson, who plays Fat Amy, and her consistently entertaining character who keeps the movie from dragging during slow moments. Memorable lines such as “I’m going to finish him like a cheesecake,” combined with her cheeky swagger, help boost the movie’s appeal tremendously.

The movie spans only 112 minutes and has its dull moments, primarily in the middle of the movie. Some scenes seem unnecessary and lack interesting material, such as the repetitive moments in which the audience watches Beca stack CDs, but the dull moments are quickly forgotten during the more energetic parts.

Out of all the scenes, those involving singing were by far the best. One of the most memorable scenes includes a riff-off between the four different campus a cappella groups. In a “West Side Story”-like showdown, the groups burst into songs based on selected themes, such as sex. Of all the songs, it was The Bella’s rendition of “No Diggity” by Blackstreet that stood out as surprisingly phenomenal.

As for the stars’ singing voices, they definitely deserve credit. The male lead, Jesse (Skylar Astin), sings for the Treblemakers and stands out in the movie as overwhelmingly talented. Snow, who sang in the film adaptation of the musical “Hairspray,” reminds audiences that she can hold her own in musicals. Kendrick and Wilson showcase their singing abilities well, though the authenticity of their voices is debatable. The music, while fun and easy to listen to, projects the computerized sound of auto-tuned music.

The songs are fun to watch, especially the final number in the movie’s entertaining conclusion. “The Breakfast Club” is even referenced in the closing scene, and Judd Nelson makes a brief appearance.

The plot of “Pitch Perfect” isn’t necessarily inventive, but it’s fun from start to finish. “Glee” enthusiasts and fans of cheerful musicals won’t want to miss this funny flick.

Overall rating: 3 stars

Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and Brittany Snow star in “Pitch Perfect.”