‘Pitch Perfect’ an enjoyable college comedy that could’ve been great
Directed by Jason Moore
Written by Kay Cannon
Too many people making romantic comedies and coming-of-age stories are tied down to a criminally punishing three-act structure and conventions defined both by standard-bearers of the genre and by studio mandates. Otherwise entertaining films like For a Good Time, Call… and Bridesmaids shift gears and allow boring, seen-it-before plot machinations to grind their pacing to a halt, simply because we’ve been conditioned to think the leads in these lighthearted movies have to go through the motions of unnecessary conflict. Such is the case with Pitch Perfect, which is most enjoyable and wry when screenwriter Kay Cannon is able to drift away from typical character beats and motivations. The film, boosted by fiercely funny performances from Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson, is smart and exciting until the plot rears its ugly head.
Kendrick, one of the best and most intelligent actresses of her generation, plays Beca, an incoming freshman to Barden University who’s content to suffer through the year with her stereo headphones blocking out the world. Beca wants to leave school and move to Los Angeles to be a DJ. However, her father, a professor at Barden, is only willing to help her achieve this goal if she joins a school club for a year. Soon, she’s handpicked by Chloe (Brittany Snow) to join the Barden Bellas, an all-female a cappella group hoping to dominate an upcoming collegiate a cappella event a year after a disastrous and disgusting appearance that serves as the film’s prologue.