I'm going to admit it. I don't watch TV. There. I said it. Now, that being said, I have another confession. I've never seen an episode of 'Glee.' There, now that that's on the table, I can go forth with a "reel" honest review of "Pitch Perfect."
I was afraid of this song and dance film. The most recent debacle of a musical movie I saw was "Rock of Ages." Now you understand my fear and apprehension. For those of you who live under a rock like me (Yeah, I recognize you and that's MY rock!), the movie is about two collegiate a cappella teams competing for a national title. The all girls team trying to rebound from a detrimental event which occurred the previous year and the men's team, from the same college, to defend their title. Luckily, this musical/dance movie started much stronger than I expected. Showing a recap of the previous year's accapella National final competition we learned how the girls' team blew the finale. Interspersed with this competitive performance were the announcers in the booth for the event who were none other than Fred Willard (from one of my favorite Christopher Guest movies, "Best In Show") and Elizabeth Banks. Their comic interaction was reminiscent of the antics of the announcers in "Dodgeball"...creative and unexpected with great delivery. I now sat back in my oversized theater seat looking forward to more of the same. Oooopppsss...that was my mistake.
On to Scene II-Barden University, the beginning of the following school year; freshman year for our a few of our main characters. The university was bustling with new students meeting their roommates for the first time. Ahhh, meeting the new roommate...brings back memories of knowing that the housing department didn't take one peak at my form requesting a non-smoker who was neat and quiet. As with my own life, I now watched Beca (Anna Kendrick) and Jesse (Skylar Astin) meet their unique roommates. As Beca attempted to escape her father's overbearing wishes to get involved in the university's programs where he was the professor, she happened upon the Bellas; an a cappella group. Enter Rebel Wilson as Fat Amy, Chloe (Brittany Snow from my grandmother's "story," Guiding Light), Anna Camp as Aubrey, the perfect sorority girl type and several of the boys crew. With Fat Amy (Wilson), I had expected so much more than what I got. This is the point that the movie started to plummet into the never ending abyss of ineffective and inappropriate ethnic slurs and boredom. But wait! There was a bottom to this now inaccurately named abyss! And it happened to have a trampoline at the bottom. The movie bounced up and down between boredom and energizing musical routines such as the Riff Off that you just know would never happen in a million years, but entertained you nonetheless. We also saw a sweet chemistry between Jesse and Beca on the screen. The side stories were nicely told to develop each character but predictability was "Pitch Perfect's" middle name. Everything was wrapped up in a perfect little package, predictably. The ironic thing is that our main character Beca did not watch movies because of their predictability! My guess is that Beca wouldn't watch "Pitch Perfect" either.
"Pitch Perfect" is far from perfectly harmonic, but it did have many redeeming qualities including the love interest between Jesse and Beca, and the high energy music, dancing, and singing as well as the comedic perfection of Fred Willard and Elizabeth Banks. Whenever they took the screen, your interest level went up several octaves; listening intently for their totally unexpected, disharmoniously funny lines. The disappointments? The predictability and the lack luster performance of Rebel Wilson. I really wanted her to be the major comedic interest, but it just wasn't meant to be. My recommendation? If you love Glee, go see it...that's a guess because I've never seen Glee. I've just read about it. If you're a teen or young 20-something and you like Glee, go see it. (Again, I'm guessing here, people!) For everyone else? Wait for the DVD.